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An Update from Capitol Hill

California's Proposition 12

AgCredit recently joined the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, several other agricultural industry trade associations and Farm Credit associations in signing onto a letter to the House Agricultural Leadership in opposition to California’s Proposition 12, a ballot measure passed in 2018 that prohibits the sale of pork, veal and eggs produced from animals not housed according to the state’s arbitrary requirements. In May 2023, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that only Congress has the authority to step in and protect American agriculture from regulatory chaos posed by such laws as Proposition 12, which is set to take full effect this year and impact pork sold in California, regardless of its origin.

Proposition 12 could cause issues for pork producers nationwide, with the potential to disrupt interstate commerce and impact pork supply chains. Associations opposing Proposition 12 argue that this legislation imposes substantial economic burdens on farmers due to the cost of facility renovations and compliance, possibly leading to increased pork prices and reduced availability for consumers. The letter to the House Agricultural Leadership advocates for a balanced approach that ensures animal welfare without compromising farmers’ viability and food supply stability and strongly urges Congress to include this critical provision in any farm bill reauthorization to prevent an unworkable patchwork of 50 conflicting state laws throughout the country that snarl interstate commerce.

Farm, Food and National Security Act of 2024

This past week the House Agriculture Committee marked up what was originally slated to be the 2023 Farm Bill. During the markup, committee members debated and considered amendments to the draft bill, the Farm, Food and National Security Act of 2024. The bill passed out of Committee by a vote of 33 to 21. 

A statement from the Farm Credit Council:
"Farm Credit appreciates the hard work by Chairman Thompson and others to pass a Farm Bill that will benefit farmers, ranchers and rural communities out of committee. The House Agriculture Committee's effort is an important step toward getting a bipartisan Farm Bill adopted this year. 

"The Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024 includes bipartisan credit provisions that would make it simpler and less expensive for beginning farmers to get the financing they need, and for rural small businesses to attract equity capital to expand. The bill includes another bipartisan proposal to help rural communities build and improve critical community healthcare and other facilities by encouraging private sector financing partnerships between community banks and Farm Credit.

"We look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate as the process continues. Economic conditions in agriculture are tightening, and America's farmers and ranchers need the certainty of a full, five-year Farm Bill. We encourage all sides to find a bipartisan path toward final passage of a Farm Bill this year."

AgCredit is a proud member of the Farm Credit Council.