Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined several of his colleagues on the Senate Agriculture Committee to reintroduce the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act in the 113th Congress yesterday. The bill is virtually identical to the Farm Bill passed last year in the Senate that enjoyed broad, bipartisan support and contained $23 billion in deficit reductions. The House of Representatives allowed that bill to expire when it failed to consider the Senate-passed bill or its own bill before the end of the year.
“The reintroduction of the Farm Bill should be an important step in providing the vital resources that our producers need, especially after suffering through one of the worst droughts in decades. But it won’t help Colorado unless the House acts as well,” Bennet said. “Coloradans across the state helped write key provisions in this bill, and I will fight to make sure their voices are heard. Let’s hope this bill passes Congress quickly this year. Colorado’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities have already waited too long.”
Bennet, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, helped craft the bill with input he received from dozens of Farm Bill listening sessions he hosted across Colorado. As a result of this input, Bennet secured several provisions to improve agriculture and conservation programs important to Colorado’s rural communities. For more information about Colorado priorities Bennet fought for in the bill last Congress, click here.
Bennet has been a vocal advocate for passage of the Farm Bill. He spent much of last August traveling across Colorado visiting with farmers and ranchers to see drought conditions firsthand. Some of his visits included Harman Brothers Farms in Otis, Hirakata Farms in Rocky Ford, Crowley County Ranch on the Eastern Plains, and Bagwell Ranch in the San Luis Valley.
In July, Bennet spoke on the Senate floor to urge the House to take up and pass a full five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill. He also sent a letter to House leadership, along with Senator Mark Udall, urging passage of the bill.