Food, Farm and Jobs Act

Food, Farm and Jobs Act

Food, Farm and Jobs Act

I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

With the U.S. House of Representatives having passed the Food, Farm and Jobs Act it now falls upon the Senate to wrap things up and move the farm bill to the President’s desk as quickly as possible. When asked if there were any parts of the bill he wasn’t real happy with Washington Congressman, Doc Hastings, had this to say.

HASTINGS: I was a little bit concerned that we didn’t address the issue of country of origin labeling, for example. That’s going to cause some hardship with our livestock industry. But when you look overall, if we’re going to get a handle on our national debt, we have to deal with mandatory spending, and because 80% of this bill is non-farm - a lot of it is other mandatory spending, particularly in food stamps, this bill saves some $23 billion in mandatory spending. That’s pretty darn significant from my standpoint.

On the flip side the bill renews PILT funds and pays for research to improve crop yields and reduce plant disease.

HASTINGS: Obviously federal government doesn’t pay property taxes, so the payment in lieu of taxes and PILT payments are important to our counties in central Washington, and that’s also in the farm bill. From a farm standpoint, because of the diverse agriculture that we have in central Washington, they require a great deal on their research dollars into their particular crops and generally the industry matches that. Now we have some certainty of funding going to research and I think that’s a very positive step.

MAP also survived.

HASTINGS: We constantly hear about our products being shipped overseas. The Market Access Program, which helps particularly specialty crops market their products overseas - that’s been consistently funded at a good level and that did so again in this farm bill. So when you put these things together the positives much, much outweigh the negatives.

That’s Washington Ag Today. I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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