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With 11 Days Left Until Farm Bill Expires, Commissioner Branch Urges Southerland to Stop Jeopardizing Solutions

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Jackson County Commissioner, North Florida Agriculture Worker Jeremy Branch Urges Congressman Southerland To Stop Jeopardizing New Farm Bill Being Signed Into Law 

Tallahassee, FL — With only 11 days left until the Farm Bill expires and Florida farmers waiting for a solution, Congressman Steve Southerland just voted for a divisive measure that is jeopardizing a new Farm Bill. That's why today, Jackson County Commissioner and North Florida agriculture worker Jeremy Branch held a press call urging Congressman Steve Southerland to stop standing in the way of solutions and finally get to work passing a new Farm Law to provide Florida farmers with the security and stability they deserve. 

The National Farmers union called Congressman Southerland’s bill a "hindrance" to the Farm Bill process, while over 532 agriculture organizations have opposed splitting the Farm Bill. During earlier farm bill negotiations, the Tampa Bay Times wrote that “Southerland effectively killed re authorization of the farm bill” 

"With only 11 days left until the Farm Bill expires, Congressman Steve Southerland is standing in the way of solutions and jeopardizing a new Farm Bill being signed into law," said Jackson County Commissioner and agriculture worker Jeremy Branch. "Yet again, Congressman Southerland is showing Florida families that he represents everything Floridians hate about Washington. Congressman Southerland needs to stop wasting time on these dysfunctional political games and get to work fixing this problem so that North Florida farmers can have the security and stability we deserve."

If Congressman Southerland's dysfunctional Washington politics continue standing in the way of solutions to fixing this problem, the current Farm Bill will expire on September 30th. 

 

BACKGROUND

American Farm Bureau Director of Congressional Relations: House Nutrition Bill Makes Farm Bill Conference More Difficult.“Probably bad news in that instead of trying to negotiate the difference between a $20 billion cut that the House had before and $4 billion in the Senate side, now you’re looking at trying to negotiate the difference between $40 billion and $4 billion. So it will make conference and then coming up with something that can come back and pass the House and the Senate probably more difficult. So a little bit hard to say- did we talk a step forward, or a step back?” [American Farm Bureau, accessed 9/18/13]

National Farmers Union: House Nutrition Bill a Hindrance to Passing Farm Bill.“Separating nutrition programs from the farm bill was a mistake from the very beginning. Consideration of H.R. 3102, a politically charged bill that would hurt those in our society who most need help, unnecessarily complicates the farm bill process […] We urge members of the House to vote down this bill and work together to end the detrimental separation of nutrition programming from farm programs. Passage of H.R. 3102 will only make the already complex farm bill process more difficult.” [National Farmers Union, 8/16/13]

Tampa Bay Times: Congressman Southerland “Loser of the Week” After Killing Reauthorization of Farm Bill.  “Southerland effectively killed reauthorization of the farm bill with a controversial last-minute amendment aimed at increasing work requirements for food stamp recipients.” [Tampa Bay Times, 6/30/13]

Congressman Southerland Voted to Split Farm Bill, In Spite of Opposition from Florida Farm Groups. In July 2013, Southerland voted to split the nutrition title from the farm bill.  The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, the Florida Sugar Cane League, the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, Farm Credit of Central Florida, Farm Credit of Florida, and Farm Credit of North West Florida wrote to Speaker Boehner with other agriculture groups urging, “Farm bills represent a delicate balance between America’s farm, nutrition, conservation, and other priorities, and accordingly require strong bipartisan support […] We believe that splitting the nutrition title from the rest of the bill could result in neither farm nor nutrition programs passing, and urge you to move a unified farm bill forward.” [American Farm Bureau Federation, Letter to Speaker Boehner, 7/02/13; HR 2642, Vote #353, 7/11/13]