The legislative committee enjoyed the San Diego convention and appreciated the time spent giving a report to those in attendance. All committee members were present and out thanks go to them for their effort. Thanks also go to Andy Quinn with McAllister & Quinn for providing a report and being available to convention attendees. We discussed some interesting ideas about where we are and where we are heading with the current Farm Bill negotiations. The legislative committee report is available in the NACS annual report on the web site at http://www.nacs-fsa.org/.
As most of you know, the House passed their version of the Farm Bill on Thursday this past week, minus the nutrition title. It is difficult to predict how this will play out when the House and Senate meet in conference. We are prepared for and continue to work with staffers regarding the credit title. The ground work has been laid but we have to see it through.
I know I repeat myself, but I feel strongly that we have a great story to tell and we tell it well. When it comes to certain areas, we need to do better and try it a different way. Remember that our goal is to identify ways to better assist our customers, and then work to eliminate statutory roadblocks that prevent more efficient program delivery. We are optimistic regarding several aspects of the Senate credit title, but we are not taking anything for granted.
One concern that has been a consistent priority with NACS members has been access to credit for all eligible customers. Arbitrary term limits threaten otherwise credit worthy farmers and ranchers and affects certain areas of the country harder than others… so far. This can change quickly in an economic downturn when credit tightens. We continue to get push back from the House on this subject.
NACS previously sent you the following request:
"The conference process is a critical time for the Farm Bill. Here is what we need from YOU: Do you have specific instances of customers being denied due to term limits? Are customers going out of business due to FSA term limits? If so, we need to know about it!!! You can contact your legislative committee directly through the new NACS web site. It is easy, it works, and we look forward to hearing from you!
Note: You may email the entire legislative committee by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to Texas and Arkansas for your responses! We need to hear from more of you…very soon!