Bennet Renews Call for Farm Bill as Nation Celebrates 40th Anniversary of National Agriculture Week

As the nation celebrates National Agriculture Week, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet called on Congress to pass a long-term Farm Bill that provides certainty to Colorado’s farmers and ranchers. National Agriculture Week is March 17-23, 2013.

“Year in and year out, Colorado’s producers of food, fuel, and fiber help drive our state’s economy, accounting for more than $40 billion in economic activity,” Bennet said. “This week’s celebration of our farmers and ranchers should serve as a reminder to Congress that it’s past time to pass a full, five-year Farm Bill that will provide certainty for this important industry. Earlier this year, we reintroduced a Farm Bill from the last Congress that provides critical tools to deal with the drought, while also helping landowners and producers preserve the integrity of their farm and ranchland for future generations. The bill passed the Senate last year but did not receive a vote in the House of Representatives. This year, I urge my colleagues in both chambers to move quickly for the sake of our farmers and ranchers, consumers, land owners, our forests, firefighters and our economy. It’s time to get this done.”

Bennet, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, was one of 20 senators to reintroduce the Senate-passed Farm Bill that enjoyed broad, bipartisan support. He helped craft the bill with input he received from dozens of listening sessions he hosted across Colorado and secured several provisions to improve agriculture and conservation programs important to Colorado’s rural communities.

After working to secure the Farm Bill’s passage in the Senate last year, Bennet has been a vocal advocate for getting it passed in the House. He spent much of last August traveling across Colorado visiting with farmers and ranchers to see drought conditions firsthand.  Some of his visits included Harman Brothers Farms in Otis, Hirakata Farms in Rocky Ford, Crowley County Ranch on the Eastern Plains, and Bagwell Ranch in the San Luis Valley.

Last summer, Bennet spoke on the Senate floor to urge the House to take up and pass a full five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill. He also sent a letter to House leadership, along with Senator Mark Udall, urging passage of the bill.