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Farmers Union: Farm Bill Brings More Certainty to NM Agriculture

PHOTO: Rocky Mountain Farmers Union President Kent Peppler says farmers across the state seem relieved and optimistic with a new Farm Bill in place. Photo courtesy USDA.
PHOTO: Rocky Mountain Farmers Union President Kent Peppler says farmers across the state seem relieved and optimistic with a new Farm Bill in place. Photo courtesy USDA.
March 17, 2014

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - "A sense of optimism" is how Rocky Mountain Farmers Union president Kent Peppler described the mood at his group's recent national convention in Santa Fe. He said spirits were high after Congress passed the five-year Farm Bill earlier this year. The previous bill expired in September, 2013.

"From a morale point of view, having it in Santa Fe and everybody knowing that the Farm Bill has been passed made life really good," Peppler said.

The Farm Bill delay caused some banks to pull back on loaning money to farmers who often survive on lines of credit, he said, adding that the bill preserves things vital for farmers such as crop insurance and conservation programs.

One priority for the Farmers Union is making sure that country-of-origin labeling on food products remains in place, Peppler said. He explained that some beef processors are fighting the labeling rule because they can mix meats from other countries and make more money by labeling the product as "packaged in the U.S." Peppler said American farmers will compete on product quality and price with any nation on Earth.

"Our producers do a better job of raising food products than any other place in the world, and we want to compete. We want our products side by side, labeled, so that the consumer has the choice."

Farm Bill funding also helps young farmers starting out and trains veterans to farm.



Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM