News

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  • Monday, July 27, 2015 10:02 AM | Jill Whitley (Administrator)
    On Wednesday, July 22nd, the House Agriculture Committee hosted Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for an oversight hearing over a variety of issues. Avian Influenza was a hot topic. Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) commended Secretary Vilsack, saying the USDA’s handling of the issue “has helped restore confidence” within the industry. Other issues that were covered included  the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) information technology (MIDAS) project and the EPA’s WOTUS Rule. Secretary Vilsack said the EPA’s new WOTUS rule would likely result in “a lot of litigation and concern.” Read more about the hearing from the Hagstrom Report and AgriPulse


  • Thursday, July 09, 2015 10:57 AM | Jill Whitley (Administrator)
    The two crop insurance amendments that were trotted out by the EWG — Rep. Pingree (D-ME) amendment to apply a $750,000 means test; and Rep. DeLauro (D-CT) amendment to require publication of insurance records — both failed by voice vote. An anti-sugar amendment was discussed and withdrawn. And an anti-cotton amendment also failed.  In addition to your calls, CIPA sent a letter on these matters which you can read here.


  • Wednesday, July 08, 2015 8:43 AM | Jill Whitley (Administrator)
    Click here to view CIPA's letter sent to Appropriations Member offices opposing amendments to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill.


  • Tuesday, July 07, 2015 3:00 PM | Jill Whitley (Administrator)

    Congress is right back into the swing of things, with only 4 weeks of work before the August recess.

    As noted before the break, the draft Agriculture Appropriations bill will be considered by the Full Committee tomorrow at 10:15 eastern.

    This is always an opportunity for opponents of agriculture to trot their amendments, and this year appears to be no exception.

    As of now, we are hearing from Committee staff that they are expecting 3 harmful amendments to crop insurance. They are:

    • Pingree AGI limits. This will limit availability to crop insurance based on AGI in excess of $750K.
    • DeLauro disclosure of individual farmer premium assistance on an individual farmer basis (EWG subsidy database for crop insurance).
    • Removal of the base language on conservation compliance (providing relief on penalty only for 2016) - no sponsor yet. 

    Members of the Full Appropriations Committee are printed below. If you have connections to any of these members (constituent or otherwise), please use them to contact and urge them to stand by our Nation's farmers, and vote against any anti-crop insurance amendments or other amendments that would undermine the important purposes of the Farm Bill (note: there may be an anti-sugar amendment; and another that would impede the marketing of cotton).

    If you need contact information for any of these offices, go to http://yo-demo.capwiz.com/yo-demo/directory/congdir.tt. Enter the Congressman’s name in the space provided and click go to find the Member. Then click on the staff tab to identify the Agriculture LA. Then click on the contact tab to learn the Congressman’s telephone number. You may call that number and ask for the Agriculture LA by name or you may also email the Agriculture LA using this email format: firstname.lastname@mail.house.gov.

    If you want or need more detail or back-up on any of these issues, just call us.

    There are other issues we will want to catch up with you on, but this item takes precedence.

    Thanks in advance for taking action.
    Sincerely,
    Tom Sell
    Cell: (806) 535-0093
    DC office: (202) 544-5873


    Committee Members

    Republicans

    • Harold Rogers, Kentucky, Chairman 
    • Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey 
    • Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama 
    • Kay Granger, Texas 
    • Michael K. Simpson, Idaho 
    • John Abney Culberson, Texas 
    • Ander Crenshaw, Florida 
    • John R. Carter, Texas 
    • Ken Calvert, California 
    • Tom Cole, Oklahoma
    • Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida 
    • Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania 
    • Tom Graves, Georgia 
    • Kevin Yoder, Kansas 
    • Steve Womack, Arkansas 
    • Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska 
    • Tom Rooney, Florida 
    • Chuck Fleischmann, Tennessee 
    • Jaime Herrera Beutler, Washington 
    • David Joyce, Ohio 
    • David Valadao, California 
    • Andy Harris, MD, Maryland 
    • Martha Roby, Alabama 
    • Mark Amodei, Nevada 
    • Chris Stewart, Utah 
    • Scott Rigell, Virginia 
    • David Jolly, Florida 
    • David Young, Iowa 
    • Evan Jenkins, West Virginia 
    • Steven Palazzo, Mississippi 

    Democrats

    • Nita M. Lowey, New York 
    • Marcy Kaptur, Ohio 
    • Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana 
    • José E. Serrano, New York 
    • Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut 
    • David E. Price, North Carolina 
    • Lucille Roybal-Allard, California 
    • Sam Farr, California 
    • Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania 
    • Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Georgia 
    • Barbara Lee, California 
    • Michael M. Honda, California 
    • Betty McCollum, Minnesota 
    • Steve Israel, New York 
    • Tim Ryan, Ohio 
    • C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Maryland 
    • Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida 
    • Henry Cuellar, Texas 
    • Chellie Pingree, Maine 
    • Mike Quigley, Illinois 
    • Derek Kilmer, Washington
  • Monday, June 29, 2015 10:25 AM | Jill Whitley (Administrator)

    We wanted to bring to your attention another op-ed penned by Chairman Combest that was published online at The Hill today. The article highlights what we consider to be a terrible misallocation of resources by libertarian groups who instead of fighting for something so basic as private property rights in the light of a huge land grab by the EPA, have instead said they will focus their energy on tearing down agriculture policy.

    The op-ed can be viewed here: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/246408-the-epas-big-land-grab. Please take some time to read and comment — and if you like it email, Facebook, and tweet to help promote and drive traffic to the article. Not only does it spread an important message, but also it helps ensure The Hill will continue to run posts defending agriculture. 


  • Wednesday, June 24, 2015 11:04 AM | Jill Whitley (Administrator)

    Tuesday, June 23rd was the day that comments on the Interim Final Rule on "Conservation Compliance" were due. CIPA submitted additional comments (available here) to supplement the group letter that was sent earlier this month (available here).

    In this new comment, we ask for 3 basic accommodations: (1) that FSA and RMA and NRCS reconcile their lists quickly and provide certainty as to who is in and who is out; (2) that the rule be altered to allow producers to restore eligibility if they come into compliance before a relevant SCD; and (3) that producers be allowed to alter or drop coverage if they are notified they are not in compliance after SCD.  We touch on other themes that support these 3 requests, but that is the essence.


  • Monday, June 22, 2015 3:48 PM | Jill Whitley (Administrator)

    We had a great week in DC with a great small group.  We had 14 CIPA members from some strategic regions across the country covering some significant ground, waving the banner for crop insurance generally, and speaking to issues of concern on the Hill right now.  

    We had more than 60 appointments with Members of the House and Senate and their staff, along with some key USDA, RMA, and FSA officials.  As you can see from the picture below, even by the third day, the group was holding up pretty well.  This picture was taken on the balcony of the House Agriculture Committee with Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) with the Capitol (under restoration) in the background.  

    Among the many issues discussed, CIPA fly-in participants expressed concern over conservation compliance and were very pleased to hear first-hand about the provision in the Agriculture Appropriations bill that would suspend any penalties, providing producers until June 30, 2016 to come into compliance while also offering USDA more time to get the rule right.  This provision is not yet law, as it must still be agreed to by our Senate and the President.  But it is good for producers, good for crop insurance, and good for the proponents of this provision because the latter should want a smooth rollout.

    Our message was fairly simple.  You may read our 1-page leave behind here.  But, most importantly, we built and cultivated some relationships that will help us when we join in battle next time.


  • Friday, June 12, 2015 9:46 AM | Jill Whitley (Administrator)

    The House of Representatives passed legislation on Tuesday, June 9th to reauthorize the CEA through 2019. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) said the bill “provides relief from unnecessary red tape for the businesses that make things in our country.” On Thursday, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced bipartisan legislation that would ensure farmers and ranchers are not jeopardized by any reinterpretations of CEA regulations. The Senate Agriculture Committee plans to incorporate this legislation into a larger CEA reauthorization package later this year. Congress last passed a CEA reauthorization during the 2008 Farm Bill, but the authorization expired in 2013. Read more from The Hill and here.  

  • Friday, June 12, 2015 9:44 AM | Jill Whitley (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, June 9th, the House of Representatives passed three agricultural measures by voice vote. Passage of the Mandatory Price Reporting Act, the U.S. Grain Standards Reauthorization Act, and the National Forest Foundation Reauthorization Act completes the House Agriculture Committee’s reauthorization work for the year. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway’ (R-TX) first goal as Chairman was to complete all of the Committee’s reauthorization work in a timely way. He said, "I am pleased to have the support of my colleagues on these bills that are essential to the agriculture industry. This completes our work in cleaning up the books of the House Agriculture Committee, addressing every item on the Congressional Budget Office's list of unauthorized appropriations under the Committee's jurisdiction." Read more from Farm Futures.   

  • Thursday, April 16, 2015 3:24 PM | Jill Whitley (Administrator)

    The USDA held a briefing to update stakeholders on changes made to the Conservation Compliance Interim Final Rule which will be published in the Federal Register on April 20th and should be posted to this page on RMA’s website April 16th. A document that was handed out at the briefing detailing the changes made may be viewed here. Remember, in order to participate in Federal Crop Insurance, all producers and qualifying affiliated persons must have an AD-1026 on file with FSA by June 1, 2015. 


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