With a vote of 64 Y – 35 N, the US Senate today passed its version of the 2012 Farm Bill (S. 3240). Included in this bill are important programs and funding for specialty crops, such as Specialty Crop Block Grants, National Clean Plant Network, Specialty Crop Research Initiative, Value Added Producer Grants and Market Access Program (MAP). WineAmerica applauds the Senate for accomplishing the daunting task of putting together a national Farm Bill in a bi-partisan manner; one that recognizes the important role specialty crops play in the US agricultural community. We also recognize the outstanding work of Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Pat Roberts (R-KS) whose outstanding leadership during this grueling process ensured success.
We now turn our attention to the House where the House Agriculture Committee plans to begin markup on its Farm Bill on July 11. WineAmerica will continue to work, as part of the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, to protect our critical programs and funding as the process continues.
For questions about the 2012 Farm Bill or any other legislative issue, please contact WineAmerica's Director of Grassroots and Political Affairs Jennifer Montgomery at email@example.com.