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Strain Urges Congress to Pass Farm Bill
May 23, 2013
Today, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. participated in a conference call with U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and the media to discuss the status of the Farm Bill.
“Agriculture and forestry are big business. It requires a great deal of capital investment and also has inherent risk. Our farmers and our bankers need stability. We need a federal policy in place,” said Strain.
The Farm Bill expired September 30, 2012, but Congress extended it for one year.
Sen. Landrieu said the Senate version of the bill gives more protection to rice farmers by giving them better crop insurance and price stability, further continues the no-cost sugar program which protects Louisiana’s multi-billion dollar industry and it gives additional protection to other major crops. It also protects the natural resource conservation programs, agriculture research and extension programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the school nutrition program.
“We have a moral duty to feed our children,” said Strain. He added that more than 950,000 people in Louisiana benefit from the food and nutrition program. “While we want to help those truly in need, this bill also cracks down on fraud and abuse.”
Agriculture is a $11.4 billion industry in Louisiana. Louisiana also serves as a major exporter of agricultural products for the rest of the world.