Casey Calls on Congress to Pass Farm Bill – Would be Major Boost for Job Creation

Casey Tours Farm in Lancaster County, Where Over 25,000 Jobs Are Directly Attributed to Agriculture

Farmers in Lancaster Alone Produce Over $1B in Products

LANCASTER, PA – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today toured a dairy farm to call on Congress to quickly pass the new Farm Bill and highlight his priorities for Pennsylvania farmers in the legislation.

“Passing the Farm Bill is a vital step to keep Pennsylvania farmers competitive and sustain jobs throughout the Commonwealth,” said Senator Casey. “I helped to secure provisions in the bill that help continue Pennsylvania’s rich agriculture history, and I urge Senate leaders to bring the bill up for a vote without delay.”

At Spring Lawn Farm, Senator Casey saw the operation’s cows, robotic milking machines and recently added solar panels while discussing provisions in the new Farm Bill that would help Pennsylvania farmers address risk management and conservation.

The bill would also create economic opportunities in rural areas, sustain businesses that rely on agriculture and help farmers such as honey producers maintain a competitive edge against unfair foreign competition.

Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s largest industry and has an economic impact on virtually every county. In Lancaster County alone, over 25,000 jobs are directly attributed to agriculture, and the industry produces over $1 billion in goods a year.

Spring Lawn Farm contributes to the over $400 million in milk produced in Lancaster each year.

County-by-county data on the value of milk produced in Pennsylvania

County-by-county data on crops  produced in Pennsylvania

Senator Casey has sent a letter to Senate leadership pushing for quick action on the farm bill. The bipartisan letter, signed by 44 Senators including Senator Casey, is attached and below:

The Honorable Harry Reid

United States Senate

S-221 Capitol Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

United States Senate

S-230 Capitol Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Republican Leader McConnell:

With our constant focus on job creation, we write to urge you to schedule floor consideration of the “Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012” as soon as possible. The bill takes steps to reduce the deficit and decrease government spending by $23 billion. It passed the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on April 26 with a bipartisan vote of 16 to 5. This sets an example of how Senators can come together in a bipartisan way to craft meaningful, yet fiscally responsible, policy.

We believe there is strong support in the full Senate to consider the bill in a fair and open manner that allows Senators the opportunity to offer amendments. Current authorities for farm risk management, nutrition, conservation, and other farm bill programs are set to expire at the end of this year. According to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis, nearly 16 million jobs are related to agriculture. But, federal farm policy impacts more than those directly involved in agriculture or living in rural areas. We need to act soon to complete a farm bill in 2012 and provide certainty for farmers, ranchers, rural communities, other stakeholders, and all Americans.

We very much appreciate your recognition of the need for timely action on the farm bill.