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May 14, 2002
PRESIDENT BUSH SIGNS FARM BILL, MISSOURI CORN GROWERS LEADER AT CEREMONY
"It was a great honor to represent Missouri corn farmers at the signing of the new farm bill by President Bush," says Brent Rockhold, MCGA president.
WASHINGTON, DC - On May 13, 2002, President George W. Bush signed the new farm bill, H.R. 2646, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.
Farm leaders joining the President for the signing ceremony at the White House included Brent Rockhold, Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) president and farmer from Arbela, MO. Rockhold also serves on the Public Policy Action Team for the National Corn Growers Association, which played a key role in lobbying Congress for the new farm bill.
"It was a great honor to represent Missouri corn farmers at the signing of the new farm bill by President Bush," says Rockhold. "The Missouri and
National Corn Growers Associations played an important role in pushing for a stronger farm safety net, and our hard work was rewarded in the final bill.
We're pleased that the President acted quickly to sign the bill, which includes a new counter-cyclical safety net program for corn farmers, program base acres and partial yield updates, a new energy title to promote expanded ethanol production, and value-added agricultural market development grants. The new farm bill also makes enhancements in current conservation, credit, research, rural development, and trade programs."
"We also appreciate the hard work of Missouri's Congressional Delegation for an improved farm safety net," continues Rockhold. "They realize the importance of the farm bill to farmers and rural Missouri, as well as the food, fiber and fuel security of America." Senators Kit Bond and Jean Carnahan both voted in favor of the farm bill conference report last week.
The previous week, Representatives Roy Blunt, Lacy Clay, Dick Gephardt, Sam Graves, Kenny Hulshof, Jo Ann Emerson, Karen McCarthy, and Ike Skelton voted in favor of the report. Representative Graves from Northwest Missouri
serves on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, which led efforts to write H.R. 2646 last summer.
"While not perfect - and no bill is - the new farm bill locks in additional farm program spending and makes incremental improvements in most titles. We're glad the farm bill passed and was signed, but like any legislation, it
could have been better. MCGA leaders wish the final bill included 'production deficiency payments' and an income-based (rather than
price-based) counter-cyclical program to provide a more complete farm safety net," explains Rockhold.
"The Missouri and National Corn Growers Associations will continue to be an active voice for corn growers as USDA begins the farm bill implementation process. A specific MCGA priority is improved implementation of the marketing assistance loan program and how posted county prices are set. Please contact the MCGA office if you have farm bill questions or concerns."
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