Norm Dicks Retiring & Vilsack Pressing Farm Bill

Norm Dicks Retiring & Vilsack Pressing Farm Bill

Norm Dicks Retiring & Vilsack Pressing Farm Bill plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

After 18 terms representing Washington state in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Norm Dicks announced Friday he will not be running again for office. Dicks says that he and his wife Suzie have made the decision to change gears and enjoy life at a different pace. Washington Governor Gregoire said quote: “Washingtonians statewide will greatly miss Norm’s presence in Congress. He will leave behind a legacy that is unmatched.”

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is pressing commodity groups to get a farm bill done this year, not next. And he says he will press for more ag research dollars.

VILSACK: We’re going to continue to press the case for research. The National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, they’ve gotten billions of dollars and they’re doing some great work. But at the end of the day if we can’t figure out how to feed 9-billion people in 30 or 40 years by increasing agricultural productivity by 70%, if we can’t figure out how to do it with less water and less pesticides and less chemicals in a more precise way and we can’t figure out how to deal with these pests that are emerging with the global nature of our trade today, we won’t be doing everything we need to be doing.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

The new farm privacy protection bill about to be signed into law in Iowa makes it an aggravated misdemeanor on first offense to obtain access to a farm or ranch by false pretenses such as hiding your true identify with a fraudulent name and resume, or lying about why you want to work on a certain farm or ranch; do it a second time, it becomes a class D felony. There are similar bills pending in at least ten other states. While most farmers and ranchers are encouraged and uplifted by this bill, animal rights activists are crying foul and insisting they will go right on trespassing, and committing fraud to gain access to farms. What animal activists don’t seem to understand is that no one in animal agriculture condones the mistreatment of animals. In fact, farmers and ranchers, and those that represent them, are often the first to criticize and report the misconduct of those rare few. There’s no doubt this new law and those likely to follow in other states will be challenged, and the legal scrutiny at that time for both sides will more than likely be intense. The vast majority of farmers and ranchers have nothing to fear from such scrutiny. Can the animal rights activists say the same?

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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