June 22, 2006

Agriculture Priorities Promoted In Senate

Fruit and veggie, renewable energy programs included in ag appropriations bill

Washington, DC â??Idahoâ??s agricultural industry will benefit through funding advocated by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo in the Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill, which was approved in the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee today. â??The agriculture spending measure dedicates substantial resources to agriculture research, rural development and conservation programs important to Idaho communities,â?? said Crapo. The bill also provides continued funding for Idahoâ??s participation in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for schools and would expand the program to an additional three states. The funding provided through the legislation would allow a total of 16 states and three Indian tribal organizations to participate in the program. In April, Crapo visited schools in Meridian and Idaho Falls to join with students enjoying the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program. Additionally, the legislation provides $25 million for the Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvements program (Sec. 9006), an increase over the FY06 funding level. Section 9006 helps farmers and rural businesses produce clean energy, cut costs and boost economic development. The bill will now go to the full Senate for consideration.FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at www.senate.gov/src/radio/crapo.