Freshman Economics: Farm Policy Reform Benefits Farmers Represented by New Members of Congress, Study Shows

July 6, 2007
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WHAT:            Shifting subsidy payments to voluntary U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs that provide cleaner air, energy and water would support more farmers in 36 of the 55 districts represented by freshmen members of the U.S. House of Representatives, according to an analysis by Environmental Defense. If Congress enacted this reform proposal when it reauthorizes the Farm Bill this summer, districts in the following states would receive a larger share of federal farm spending:  

 

Arizona (Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Tucson/Sierra Vista)

California (*Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton/Stockton)

Florida (*Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Port Charlotte/Martin/Highlands)

Hawaii (*Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Honolulu)

Idaho (Rep. Bill Sali, R-Boise/Caldwell/Coeur d'Alene/Lewiston)

Nevada (Rep. Dean Heller, R-Reno/Elko/Las Vegas)

Ohio (Rep. Zachary Space, D-Dover/*Rep. Charles Wilson, D-Canfield/Marietta/Bridgeport)

Pennsylvania (*Rep. Chris Carney, D-Clarks Summit/Shamokin/Williamsport)

Texas (*Rep. Ciro Rodriquez, D-San Antonio/Fort Stockton/Eagle Pass)

Vermont (*Rep. Peter Welch, D-Burlington)

 

*Supports legislation to increase conservation funding

 

WHY:              Renewal of farm and food policies in the 2007 Farm Bill provides a chance to help many more farmers who offer to clean up the environment. Currently, farmers in 20 districts collect half of all Farm Bill spending and two-out-of–three farmers offering to clean up the environment are rejected because of misplaced spending priorities.  A majority of House members support bills that would dramatically increase conservation funding.

 

WHO:              Scott Faber, Farm Policy Campaign Director, Environmental Defense

                        (Read Scott’s Farm Bill blog: http://environmentaldefenseblogs.org/healthyfarms)

 

WHEN:            Monday, July 9, 2007, 12:30pm ET

 

HOW:              News Conference/Teleconference call (800) 804-0064; passcode: 6460177

 

CONTACT:     Sean Crowley, (202) 572-3331-w, scrowley@environmentaldefense.org