FACA makes farm bill recommendations

The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA) Steering Committee has developed policy recommendations for the upcoming farm bill they say will help the food, agriculture, and forestry sectors achieve our climate mitigation potential.

Chuck Conner is the President and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, one of the alliance members.  He says not all of the group’s recommendations increase the cost of the farm bill. “Some of these recommendations are administrative and really are not cost items. Some do have a price tag associated with them, and we look forward to Congress looking at this budget stuff. There’s a lot of work to be done in terms of determining the size of the pie on the farm bill.”

Conner says when the alliance was formed, one of the core principles was that conservation programs had to be voluntary and not tied to crop insurance. “We’ve had a lot of good discussions about some kind of conservation compliance type system tied to crop insurance, and that’s something our coalition would oppose.”

Conner says once the farm bill budget is set, the alliance will work hard to get as many of their priorities included as possible. “There’s 100 of them, so there’s a lot of recommendations in here, and we’re not expecting all 100 to be identified in the farm bill but we feel like we can get a good amount of them in as part of the bill.”

The alliance’s steering committee assembled more than 100 priorities into six categories.  Along with measures supporting soil health, precision ag, and renewable energy, the group also suggested raising FSA loan limits and helping programs that reduce food waste.

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