The House and Senate both passed a “continuing resolution” to keep the government funded for the next 6 months, but once the farm bill expires, mandatory funding form many programs will expire along with it. Among those: beginning farmer programs like the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), Conservation Stewardship Program funding that would allow USDA to abide by the 2008 Farm Bill mandate to enroll 12.8 million acres in the program in 2013.
In a broken Congress filled with empty promises, leaders have chosen to spend 5/6th of their time in August and September kissing babies, and have “kissed goodbye” to new grants including the conservation land retirement and easement programs, specialty crop and nutrition programs, and have indefinitely put off renewal of mandatory funding for many small and beginning farmer support programs.
Perhaps we will see action during the “lame duck” sessions between “recesses” after the election, most likely in the form of a temporary extension of the 2008 farm bill. But even if this were to happen, it unlikely to extend temporarily funding for vital farm programs whose funding expires with the bill (on Sept. 30th).
If you would like to express your support for beginning farmers, please take a minute to sign a petition urging lawmakers to support the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) at http://www.youngfarmers.org/