American Farm Bureau Rejects Direct Farm Payments- Embraces Catastrophic Loss Safety NetWed, 11 Jan 2012 05:35:23 CST
The 2012 American Farm Bureau Convention has ended as the delegates finished their adoption of resolutions on Tuesday afternoon in Honolulu. Far and away, the greatest amount of time was spent working on the policy position of the organization for the Commodity Title of the 2012 Farm Bill.
In his post convention news conference, AFBF President Bob Stallman said that the delegates clearly were not looking back- but were focused on the future. He cited the clear rejection of including direct farm program payments in any farm policy recommendation by AFBF- as well as any sort of a piecemeal approach to a farm bill- in other words, a rejection of the argument that the one common program concept would not work on a national level.
What delegates did approve was the various elements that had been proposed as the SRRP plan- Systemic Risk Reduction Program. However, Mike Spradling, President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, says OFB delegates proposed and had their amendment accepted that the acronym SRRP would be dropped- Spradling telling us that the OFB delegation was concerned that if you package all the pieces of this concept under one title- it could become more easily a target of opponents of any farm program package. The concepts approved by the delegates would offer a response to catastrophic type losses using insurance style coverage that is susbsidized by Uncle Sam- coverage would be available for all crops and would be delivered by private crop insurance companies.
Stallman indicated in his conversation with the media that they are working to get a CBO score on the concept- and that this program can be scaled up or down- based on the level of the dollars that are available when the Agriculture Committees start dividing up the money among the Commodity, Conservation, Research and all of the other titles of the 2012 farm bill proposal.
Stallman and Spradling both expressed concern that if we don't get a farm bill in 2012- and end up with an extension of current policy for another crop year- that the budget atmosphere in 2013 will be worse as whoever controls Congress and whoever sits in the White House look square in the face of an incredibly large federal budget deficit.
To learn more about the concepts advanced by the AFBF delegates- click here for the background paper released earlier this week by AFBF on the SRRP proposal. Even though the name was stripped away by the delegates- the principles remained intact.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below for an audio overview with comments from both Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Mike Spradling and AFBF President Bob Stallman after the delegates had finished their work at the convention center in Honolulu.
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