Talking Farm Policy and More with US Secretary of Agriculture Tom VilsackWed, 26 Oct 2011 11:37:59 CDT
US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says that he understands the direction that the House and Senate Ag Committee leadership are taking in attempting to firm up the budget committments for the 2012 farm bill this year instead of developing the policy direction first, then figuring out the budget implications of that policy, as we have done many times before in the Farm Bill debates of the past. He adds that pressures surrounding the Ag Committees in responding to the Super Committee is a major driving force behind the focus of the Agriculture Committees in these final three months of 2011.
The Secretary spent almost fifteen minutes on the phone with Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays talking about the direction of farm policy as House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and Senate Ag Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow consider a "hurry up" approach in writing the 2012 Farm Bill to get it included in the Super Committee plan for $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction before Christmas. In particular, the conversation centered around the need for a safety net that will work for all sections of the country and a wide variety of commodities- and how farm policy can aid in keeping agriculture "sustainable." The Secretary also talked about the Obama Administration's reasons for proposing more cuts in Crop Insurance funding in their recent Deficit Reduction proposal, his upcoming Trade Mission to Vietnam and China, the timeline on the GIPSA Rule on the Marketing of Livestock, and a defense on USDA's Animal Disease Traceback plan.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the full conversation recorded Wednesday morning.
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