Beginning Farmers and the 2012 Farm Bill

2012 Farm Bill - Congress reconvenes next week - Beginning Farmer Pressure Needed!  With only a few days in session before the end of the fiscal year the pressure is on for lawmakers to advance a farm bill.  The hold-up has largely been in the U.S. House, with Republican leadership reluctant to bring a bill to the floor.   As it stands now a number of scenarios could play out: full reauthorization, extension of existing baseline, extension of baseline and programs with adjustments, no action, some forms of drought assistance and any variety of duration – 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years etc. Regardless of these scenarios we’re urging groups to communicate with congressional offices to support BFR provisions.   A top program we’re focusing on is funding and policy changes for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) Additional BFR programs that are also important include: CRP – Transition Incentives Program, Value-Added Producer Grant Program (BFR component), other saving and credit pieces as well as the Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program. Annual BFRDP Project Directors Meeting in Rochester, MN.   The BFRDP project directors meeting required by NIFA each year is set for December 4 through December 7.  The Land Stewardship Project is hosting the meeting this year which will include a welcome from U.S. House Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) who is the leading sponsor of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act. If you have any question or concerns please feel free to contact Adam Warthesen at adamw@landstewardshipproject.org or by phone at 612-722-6377.

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