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Utah farmers address draft of new farm bill

Utah farmers and ranchers gathered Tuesday to discuss the drafting of a new farm bill, and expressed strong opinions on the issues facing rural America.

A major topic of discussion was the heavy burden high fuel prices have placed on farms across the state. "For farmers and ranchers, sky high input costs are a major concern," Utah Farmers Union President Art Douglas said. "Because we do not set the price for our products, we are unable to pass these increased costs on, as so many other businesses can."

The Utah farmers and ranchers also discussed the need for conservation programs and said that Congress should focus on programs that allow them to get a profitable price from the marketplace.

"For American producers, it's all about getting a profitable price from the marketplace," NFU President Tom Buis said. "That's why we need to help them distribute their products, as well as implement programs like Country-of-Origin-Labeling that will allow them to market and differentiate their high-quality products."

The meeting was part of a nationwide series of forums to gather the opinions and concerns from farmers, ranchers and rural residents about the impact of federal polices on their communities, including but not limited to the writing of a new farm bill when the current legislation expires in 2007.

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