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Agriculture appropriations bill will be good for rural Missouri, Skelton says
Agriculture appropriations bill will be good for rural Missouri, Skelton says

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 7, 2009) — Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) announced today that the U.S. House of Representatives has approved H.R. 2997, the Fiscal Year 2010 Agriculture Department Appropriations Conference Report. The legislation would provide $121.2 billion for agriculture, conservation, rural development, nutrition, and university extension programs during the coming fiscal year. It would also include two important provisions supported by Congressman Skelton — emergency relief to dairy farmers and a remedy to an international trade dispute that had been problematic in America’s agricultural trade policies with China.

“I am pleased that the United States Congress has come through for rural America. This Department of Agriculture spending bill funds a number of programs vital to my farmers in the Fourth District, including commodity supports, the Farm Service Agency, and agricultural research initiatives, and to all of us who reside in rural Missouri. I am particularly pleased that the legislation provides a major financial boost to farm-operating and farm-ownership loans, which help farmers pay for equipment and acquire land.

“The Department of Agriculture spending bill also provides emergency relief to American dairy producers who are experiencing a terribly difficult economic climate. The bill appropriates $350 million in assistance to dairy farmers — $290 million in direct payments and $60 million to purchase cheese and other dairy products to reduce surpluses. I worked to secure these emergency funds in the House of Representatives and am grateful they were included in the conference report.

“Important to Missouri pork and beef producers, the legislation also fixes an international trade dispute regarding poultry imports that had been brewing for a number of years between the United States and China. I am hopeful that this remedy will open the door for China to buy more American pork and beef products. Trade is an indispensible part of the agricultural market and trade opportunities for producers must be expanded,” said Skelton.

H.R. 2997 was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 263 to 162. The U.S. Senate must consider the legislation before it is sent to the President for his signature.

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at www.house.gov/skelton.

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