Washington (March 30, 2007) - Texas Farmers Union members joined more than 100 farmers and ranchers from across the
country in Washington, D. C., March 27-28 for National Farmers Unionís legislative fly-in. Participants met
with members of Congress to discuss the 2007 Farm bill, the need for agricultural disaster assistance, country-of-origin labeling (COOL) and this year's agriculture budget.
"By coming to Washington, we have the ability to take our concerns directly to key decision makers," Texas Farmers Union President Wes Sims said. "We were able to discuss NFU's policy position on the 2007 Farm Bill, the importance of disaster assistance, implementing COOL and explain why Congress needs to fully fund agriculture programs."
Delegates to NFU's recent convention approved a list of provisions the organization would like to see included in the 2007 Farm Bill. These include a counter-cyclical safety net, comprehensive energy title and a permanent disaster program, among others.
"The farm bill is a vital piece of legislation not just for farmers and ranchers, but also rural America," Sims said. "We were able to tell members of Congress exactly what we would like to see in this year's bill."
TFU has been a long-time advocate for implementing COOL and recently joined a coalition of more than 200 groups to move the labeling law's implementation date up one year to September 2007.
Farmers and ranchers across the country have fallen victim to weather circumstances beyond their control and fly-in participants pressed members of Congress to pass disaster assistance legislation.
Additionally, fly-in participants urged members to oppose budget cuts to agriculture programs. Despite the 2002 Farm Bill providing substantial savings, agriculture programs have been victim to budget cuts. Sims said, "it is important these programs are fully funded and that Congress provide funding to agriculture so producers may meet the challenges they face and rise to the many opportunities in the countryside."
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