National Farmers Union's government relations staff has posted a Fiscal Cliff/Farm Bill Extension Update that illustrates some of the reasons for the vulgar language flowing from the lips of MN Seventh District Congressman Collin Peterson.
Minnpost looks at that insiders' baseball in Peterson burned by final farm bill policy and process.
Turning to the ways in which the compromise will affect rural Minnesota, Bluestem is pleased with some provisions like the extension of the wind energy production tax credit, but not so happy to read about developments like these on the nine-month extension of the Farm Bill:
The provisions included in the fiscal cliff deal were not a straight extension of the 2008 bill, and the legislation provides no mandatory funding for the energy title, specialty crop and organic provisions, and beginning farmer and rancher programs, among others.
Land Stewardship Project, Minnesota Farmers Union and the Minnesota Farm Bureau have all worked for beginning farmer and rancher programs. With the aging of the state's farmers and high economic barriers to entering agriculture like the price of land and equipment (even for smaller operations), the programs are growing in importances for producers and consumers.
The NFU staff provides a quick assessment of the fiscal cliff legislation:
Late last night the House of Representatives passed Senate-negotiated fiscal cliff compromise legislation, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8 ), sending the bill to the president’s desk and finally putting to rest the negotiations that had dominated the lame duck session of the 112th Congress. The Senate had previously passed the legislation in the early morning hours of Jan. 1.
Included in the legislation was a one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, in addition to numerous provisions reauthorizing various expiring tax rates and credits. The final extension was a great disappointment. Congress had every opportunity to pass a new five-year farm bill by the end of the year but chose instead to ignore its rural constituents. In addition, the extension that was finally included in the fiscal cliff bill was not the version drafted by the chairs of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, but one that was developed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., without input from agriculture leaders.
Lovely. Forum Communications' Ag Week has more in Bad step for ag?
Photo: Western Minnesota cattle farmer and LSP staffer Terry VanderPol explains dirt to new farmers. It's soil science, people.
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