December 14, 2007

FARM BILL BRINGS BENEFITS TO IDAHO, CRAPO SAYS

U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approves 2007 Farm Bill

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo supported the Food and Energy Security Act of 2007 (H.R. 2419), citing benefits to Idaho farmers and ranchers and communities across the nation. The measure, commonly called the Farm Bill, passed the Senate today by a vote of 79 to 11.

Crapo has pressed for enactment of strong federal farm policy to better enable producers to plan for the future and compete successfully in domestic and global markets. He is a member of both the Senate Agriculture and Finance Committees, which are tasked with drafting the Food and Energy Security Act of 2007. Through his roles on both committees, Crapo was an advocate of a number of provisions vital to Idaho agriculture. The provisions include:

• incentives for private landowners to voluntarily protect endangered species;
• assistance for rural communities to comply with federal water and wastewater regulations;
• continuation and expansion of programs important to specialty crop, wheat, barley, pulse crop, sugar, and wool producers;
• assistance for aquaculture producers impacted by drought; and
• research to address issues of importance to the livestock, forestry, aquaculture and other communities; and more.

As Ranking Member for the Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry and Credit, Crapo also helped craft the Conservation Title, which builds on current successful conservation programs with needed enhancements to make them work better for producers.

"Passage of the Food and Energy Security Act today is a step in the right direction for farm families and the world's hungry, all of whom benefit from a strong American agricultural supply," said Crapo. "It is important that the Senate came together and worked in a bipartisan fashion to pass the Farm Bill before the end of the year, as this puts the legislation one step closer to enactment hopefully early next year."

The Food and Energy Security Act of 2007 authorizes programs to protect the nation's food security through farm family assistance, improve the environment through incentive-driven conservation programs, advance energy security through assisting with broader energy development, expand nutrition efforts, invest in rural communities, and increase foreign market access.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the Farm Bill on July 27, 2007, by a vote of 231-191. The two houses will now work out differences between the two bills before final congressional action on the measure can be taken.

As a member of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, Crapo had a role in crafting previous Farm Bills, including the 2002 and 1996 Farm Bills. For additional information on the 2007 Farm Bill, please visit Crapo's website, http://crapo.senate.gov.