Texas Farmers Union Rallies 
Around Disaster Bill

WASHINGTON (March 28, 2006) - Texas Farmers Union members and leadership traveled to Washington D.C. in support of comprehensive disaster assistance legislation drafted by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D. At NFU's spring legislative fly-in, TFU farm and ranch members rallied around the legislation that has strong bipartisan support, and more than 24 original cosigners from both sides of the aisle.

The legislation aims to help offset the costs of natural disasters and high energy prices burdening farmers and ranchers in Texas and around the nation. More than 70 percent of the nation's counties were declared disaster areas by the administration in 2005. In addition to the extensive loss of crops and livestock wrought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, farmers and ranchers faced continued drought in the Midwest, extensive fires in Oklahoma and Texas, flooding in the Great Plains, and other weather-related disasters nationwide.

"This summer we had massive damage as the result of drought," TFU President Wes Sims said. "The wildfires of the last several months have destroyed crops, pastures, livestock, fences, houses, barns and equipment. This has been a devastating year in our state."

Weather-related disaster losses combined with declining commodity prices and skyrocketing energy costs are putting farmers in a financial bind. Farmers Union said the legislation will help mitigate the economic impact Mother Nature had on producers last year.

In addition to assistance for production and quality weather-related losses, the bill would offer producers assistance in paying for rising energy costs, as well as disease that has affected crops and livestock.

TFU thanked the long bipartisan list of original cosponsors to this legislation crafted by Senator Conrad, N.D. Original cosponsors include Sens. Dorgan, D-N.D., Martinez, R-Fla., Nelson, D-Fla., Coleman, R-Minn., Dayton, D-Minn., Bond, R-Mo., Talent, R-Mo., Johnson, D-S.D., Thune, R-S.D., Lincoln, D-Ark., Pryor, D-Ark., Baucus, D-Mont, Burns, R-Mont, Stabenow, D-Mich., Cantwell, D-Wash., Murray, D-Wash., Hagel, R-Neb., Nelson, D-Neb., Landrieu, D-La., Reid, D-Nev., Harkin, D-lowa, Durbin, D-Ill., Obama, D-Ill., and Salazar D-Colo.

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