While there's talk that that's no way we'll have a 2012 Farm Bill by September, that isn't stopping groups from sharing what they think will be needed in the new program. This week six groups, including the National Farmers Union, sent a letter to U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Agriculture Committee leaders outlining recommended provisions for the Livestock and Research Related Matters Titles in the farm bill.
NFU President Roger Johnson, says "the programs in the Livestock Title are too important to U.S. family farmers and ranchers to be left out. In order to ensure we have a robust, productive livestock industry in our country, we must protect our producers by supporting the programs described in the letter."
The letter outlines reauthorizing the Livestock Disaster Assistance Programs, calling them vital. This would include the Livestock Indemnity Program compensating ranchers at 75% of market value for livestock mortality caused by disasters. The Livestock Forage Program assists ranchers who graze livestock on qualifying drought or fire affected pastureland. The Emergency Livestock Assistance Program compensates producers for disaster losses not covered under other disaster programs.
The letter states that the groups support the listed programs as a means to ensure the continued "success and viability of the $160 billion livestock industry. We urge Congress to pass a 2012 Farm Bill that clearly and concisely outlines the critical programs to the livestock industry in a succinct package of provisions in the next farm bill."
The cosigners of the letter include: state animal health officials, state secretaries of agriculture, state veterinarians, the American Horse Council, American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials, NFU, United States Animal Health Association, and U.S. Cattlemen’s Association. This group represents tens of thousands of livestock producers including cattle, pork and dairy operations.