Farm Bill Conference Committee Met on September 5
With only 10 legislative days remaining before the Farm Bill expires on September 30, the Farm Bill Conference Committee held its first official meeting on September 5. The Conference Committee includes 56 members of the House and Senate. Each member provided 3-minute opening statements about their top Farm Bill priorities.
To see who talked about organic, check out NOC’s Twitter feed.
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The next step in the process is for the Farm Bill Conference Committee leaders (Senators Roberts and Stabenow, Representatives Conaway and Peterson) to continue their behind-the-scenes negotiations to see if they can get a final bill done by the September 30th deadline. Significant hurdles remain. While the Republican-only House bill overhauls the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and makes deep cuts to conservation programs, the bipartisan Senate bill leaves these programs intact. The wide gulf between these major policy decisions in the two bills will make reconciling them a formidable process. Even so, now is the time to voice our support for organic while negotiations are underway. Any agreements reached now on organic issues could determine the future of organic programs.