TFU Unveils New Farm Bill

WACO, TX (April 30, 2001) - Texas Farmers Union (TFU) President Wes Sims today outlined the family farmer and rancher organization's recommendations for a new farm bill.

"We need farm laws and policies that will allow producers to receive fair financial and social recognition or the important products farmers and ranchers produce and the services they provide to our communities, the country and the world. Our independent producers want to receive their income from the marketplace and not federal outlaws. Our plan will help make this reality," Sims said.

Farmers Union's legislative initiative provides a strong farm safety net based on a counter-cyclical plan that equalizes commodity loan rates by adjusting them upward and provides other assistance measures and incentives that take into account the rising cost of production and depressed commodity prices faced by America's family farmers and ranchers.

Farmers Union's farm proposal also calls for:

*The establishment of limited, non-commercial commodity reserves to ensure the U.S. long-term commitment to renewable fuels and humanitarian assistance. *The creation of a limited farmer-owned reserve program that would provide a supplement to risk management. *Authority for the agriculture secretary to offer a voluntary set-aside program to prevent production in excess of market demand. *A price support program for dairy that is funded at a level that will enable efficient, family-sized dairy producers to market milk at prices that provide a reasonable return. *Enforcement of regulations restricting the illegal and trade-distorting uses of Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC) that displaced an estimated nine billion pounds of milk in 1998.

Sims also reiterated his group's call for strong conservation policies, a commitment to rural housing, economic development and infrastructure, and concerns about food industry consolidation.

"The combination of commodity program components, including commodity loans, limited voluntary set-asides for program crops and an enhanced dairy program can significantly increase realized net income for family farmers and ranchers," said Sims. "This program bolsters conservation and rural development programs and will improve the economic reality for independent producers and rural America."

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