May 25, 2007
May 25, 2007 - The House Agriculture Committee started the process this week of crafting the new Farm Bill.
The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry on Thursday approved its 2007 Farm Bill proposals following the week's earlier legislation provided by Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (Minn.).
Two items of note for the American sheep industry in this action include the loan deficiency program (LDP) for wool and interstate movement of state-inspected meat.
According to Peter Orwick, executive director of the American Sheep Industry Association, "The increased base loan rate for the wool LDP will be considered by the full agriculture committee of the House in June, most likely."
Regarding the meat legislation, Rep. Steve Kagen (Wisc.) offered an amendment to allow interstate sales of state-inspected meat and poultry. The amendment was discussed, but further action was referred to the agriculture committee. The Kagen amendment contains the same language as the Pomeroy (N.D.)-Blunt (Mo.) bill (H.R. 2315) and the Hatch (Utah) bill (S. 1150).
Orwick relayed the encouraging discussion on interstate meat held between Subcommittee Chairman Leonard Boswell (Iowa), Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (Minn.), and Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte (Va.) in which each expressed that the interstate meat shipment legislation should be accomplished in the 2007 Farm Bill.
Also of interest to sheep producers was the discussion regarding the repeal of the current prohibition on mandatory animal identification to support country of origin labeling for meat.
The Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research met on Tuesday to approve proposals for the Farm Bill titles under its jurisdiction.
The subcommittee considered discussion drafts outlining each title and approved several amendments by voice vote.
In the area of conservation, amendments that were approved include making the benefits of grassland protection a long-term priority and expanding the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) to include projects that simultaneously address rural community development opportunities and environmental enhancement.
The research title reauthorizes many important research programs and establishes new initiatives for specialty crops and for bioenergy and bio-based products research.
The credit title expands access to farm credit in order to further support renewable energy initiatives and creates a new loan guarantee program for producers to carry out conservation projects.
Copies of the discussion drafts and the amendments approved by the subcommittee are available online at http://agriculture.house.gov/inside/2007FarmBill.html
. Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 35