Farmers Union Applauds 
Farm Bill Budget Agreement

Waco, Texas (March 22, 2002)-The Texas Farmers Union (TFU) applauded the work of the farm bill conference committee in reaching a farm bill budget funding agreement. This action will make it possible to finish the farm bill in time to help many farmers and ranchers who need changes to farm policy this year.

"Conference committee members and their staff must be commended for their hard work, consensus building and willingness to compromise in order to advance these important negotiations," said TFU President Wes Sims. "Their commitment moves us one giant step closer to providing certainty for farmers and ranchers. We need to enter the coming season with the added confidence that there will be a better farm law."

The agreement provides a compromise on funding for the major titles of the farm bill. The conference committee can now work to reconcile other policy differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Farmers Union and its members will continue to encourage a swift agreement and a final vote on the bill that includes higher marketing assistance loan rates, a ban on packer ownership of livestock, country-of-origin labeling and other needed measures.

"This is a major breakthrough," Sims said. "Conferees must now reach agreement on the economic safety net and other issues so the House and Senate can bring the measure to their respective floors for a final vote as soon as possible and send the legislation to the President. We must provide a new policy for producers and rural communities now."

Texas Farmers Union, P.O. Box 738, Sweetwater, Tx 79556