DENVER, CO – December 12, 2018 – Dr. Dale McCall, President of the Rocky Mountains Farmers Union issued a statement on behalf of the organization and its membership following passage if the 2018 Farm Bill, or as its officially known as the “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018” in the U.S. House of Representatives on a vote of 369-47 on December 12th and the bills passage in the U.S. Senate on December 11th on a vote of 87-13:
“Congressional action to approve this food and farm bill removes much of the uncertainty facing the families that make a living from the ground up. The items I’ve looked at that are most significant to farmers and ranchers in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming include:
- A modest increase in the number of acres that can be enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program plus important soil health initiatives.
- Legalizes hemp to become a viable alternative crop.
- The continuation of crop insurance as an essential and flexible safety net for production agriculture, plus much-needed expansion of coverage for fruits, vegetables, hops, and barley.
- Expansion of high-speed internet in rural communities by providing new grants that will target areas most in need and connect communities with modern internet access.
- Establishes key energy programs that expand biofuels and other renewables, rural energy projects, and carbon utilization.
- Fully funds the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which is vital to so many who are struggling with food access in both rural and urban areas.
- Addresses the opioid crisis by opening funding for expanded telemedicine and community facility investments to provide critical treatment options for those suffering from addiction.
“We remain concerned this legislation did not do enough to address consolidation in the ag industry, as farmers and ranchers are facing far fewer choices when it comes to selling livestock and buying seed and fertilizer. The ongoing trade war continues to create uncertainty for the families who make a living from the land.”
“We trust President Trump will sign this bill into law so producers will have time to make plans for the 2019 business year. Time is short for farmers to make the significant adjustments needed in their quest just to break even.”
Dr. Dale McCall is president of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, a general farm organization whose 20,000 members live in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. McCall and his family farm and ranch in northeastern Colorado.
Learn more about the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and how you can become a member online @ www.rmfu.org