Washington, D.C. (Nov. 27,2001) - Texas Farmer Union President Wes Sims is in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with U.S. Senators to discuss the problems facing rural America and to attend the National Farmers Union Board of Directors quarterly meeting.
The 26-member board, originally scheduled to meet in Denver, Colorado, this week, moved its quarterly meeting to Washington, D.C., due to the critical timing of farm bill activity.
"Our board decided a week ago to move its meeting to Washington, D.C., in order to also make personal visits with senators about the farm bill, which will soon be debated by the Senate," Sims said.
Sims and other state Farmers Union presidents will encourage senators to pass a farm bill this year that increases commodity prices and boosts ailing rural economies. Farmers Union has proposed a counter cyclical safety net that targets assistance to producers who most need help and that is based on current production, yields and market prices.
"Farmers Union also supports Senate efforts to craft a bill that addresses conservation, rural development and country-of-origin labeling of meats, fruits, vegetables and peanuts," Sims said. "While the proposal passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee is an improvement from the House passed version, improvements still could, and should, be made."
Specifically, Sims will ask senators to include a competition title to address increasing concentration in agriculture and food markets, targeting of benefits to family farmers and ranchers; payment limits; a renewable energy reserve; peanut program modifications; a voluntary flex fallow management program, and equity among commodity support levels.
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