USDA Implements 2014 Farm Bill Provision to Limit Payments to Non-Farmers

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a proposed rule to limit farm payments to non-farmers, consistent with requirements Congress mandated in the 2014 Farm Bill. The proposed rule limits farm payments to individuals who may be designated as farm managers but are not actively engaged in farm management. In the Farm Bill, Congress gave USDA the authority to address this loophole for joint ventures and general partnerships, while exempting family farm operations from being impacted by the new rule USDA ultimately implements.

To view the press release from USDA in its entirety, please click here.
View 2014 Farm Bill Fact Sheet: Actively Engaged in Farming and Payments Limits


GPC, Washington DC Office

Next Week at the Agriculture Committee

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2015 – Next week’s schedule for the House Ag Committee is as follows:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

1300 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C.
Full Committee – Public Hearing
RE: Examination of the costs and impacts of mandatory biotechnology laws  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 – 1:00 p.m.
1300 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C.
Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit – Public Hearing
RE:  Reauthorizing the CFTC:  End-User Views

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 – 9:00 a.m.
1300 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C.
Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture
RE: To examine the implications of potential retaliatory measures taken against the United States in response to meat labeling requirements

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 – 1:30 p.m.
1300 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C.
Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit – Public Hearing
RE:  Reauthorizing the CFTC:  Market Participant Views

Thursday, March 26, 2015 – 9:00 a.m.
1300 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C.
Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management
RE: Implementing the Agricultural Act of 2014:  Commodity Policy and Crop Insurance


GPC, Washington DC Office

Southern Peanut Farmers Federation praises USDA for 2014 Farm Bill implementation

Pictured left to right: Bob Redding, Georgia Peanut Commission Washington representative, U.S. Sen. David Perdue, Ronnie Lee, Reece Langley, vice president of Washington Operations for the National Cotton Council, and Robbie Minnich, senior government relations representative for the National Cotton Council.

(WASHINGTON, D.C. Feb. 24, 2015) The Southern Peanut Farmers Federation (SPFF) praised USDA for their implementation of the farm bill in a timely manner during the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Hearing, Feb. 24, 2015, in Washington, D.C. Ronnie Lee, farmer from Bronwood, Georgia, provided testimony on behalf of the SPFF and the National Cotton Council.

The SPFF is comprised of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, the Florida Peanut Producers Association, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association and the Georgia Peanut Commission.

“The importance of having a Georgia senator on the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee was evident today. Georgia peanut grower, Ronnie Lee, was able to provide testimony about issues important to Georgia’s peanut producers before the Committee,” says Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission. “We appreciate Georgia Sen. David Perdue’s efforts to be a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and look forward to working with him for Georgia’s peanut producers.”

“Our industries believe that sound farm policy is essential to the economic viability of the cotton and peanut industries,” Lee says. “It is critical that U.S. farm policy is designed and implemented to provide a sound foundation for agriculture production.”

During the hearing, Lee provided testimony on the importance of sound farm policy, peanut policies, crop insurance enhancements, conservation programs, export promotion programs and more.  One additional part of the testimony focused on the decline of federal government purchases of peanut butter even though peanut butter remains one of the cheapest proteins, helps deter obesity and addresses malnourishment.

Lee stated, “Federal peanut butter purchases reached a peak of approximately 80 million pounds in the mid-1990s, but the amount of purchases have continued to decline with less than 30 million pounds purchased in the 2012-13 time period and even fewer purchases in 2013-14. We understand there are additional variables with regard to these purchases, such as state and local product requests. We would like for USDA to determine what has caused the decline and how, working with USDA, we can turn this situation around.”

Peanut industry leaders worked closely with Agriculture Committee leaders in the United States Senate to create a farm bill that works for all regions of American agriculture. The farm bill was the subject of a long and intense debate, beginning with hearings in 2010 and becoming law on Feb. 7, 2014.

To view Lee’s complete testimony, click here.

SPFF urges lawmakers to reject calls for cuts to programs

February 24, 2015- Washington, DC- The Southern Peanut Farmers Federation joined 391 other organizations, representing America’s agriculture, nutrition, conservation, rural development, finance, forestry, energy, trade, labor, equipment manufactures and crop insurance sectors, in signing a letter urging lawmakers to reject calls for additional cuts to programs within the jurisdiction of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees.  This letter was sent to Congressman Tom Price, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Mike Enzi.

To view the letter, click here.


GPC, Washington DC Office

Peterson Announces House Ag Committee Democrats

Washington- January 21, 2015 – House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson today announced the 19 Democrats appointed to serve on the House Agriculture Committee for the 114th Congress.

“This is a great group of both new and returning members who care about the wide variety of issues overseen by the Agriculture Committee. I look forward to working with them, Chairman Conaway and members on the other side of the aisle this Congress,” Peterson said.

Democratic Members:

  • Collin Peterson (MN-7)
  • David Scott (GA-13)
  • Jim Costa (CA-16)
  • Tim Walz (MN-1)
  • Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
  • Jim McGovern (MA-2)
  • Suzan DelBene (WA-1)
  • Filemon Vela (TX-34)
  • Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1)
  • Ann Kuster (NH-2)
  • Rick Nolan (MN-8)
  • Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
  • Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18)
  • Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1)
  • Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
  • Stacey Plaskett (VI-AL)
  • Alma Adams (NC-12)
  • Gwen Graham (FL-2)
  • Brad Ashford (NE-2)


GPC, Washington DC Office

FSA Announces New Yield Data for Safety Net Calculations

Farmers can Update Yield History through Feb. 27, 2015
U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today offered farmers new information to update program payment yields that will help them better select protections offered by the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. The new programs, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, are cornerstones of the commodity farm safety, offering farmers protection when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices and revenues.
For more information, please click here.

GPC, Washington DC Office

Senate Republicans Release Committee Assignments

On Monday, U.S. Senate Republicans announced their committee assignments for the 114th Congress. The assignments are subject to ratification by the Republican Conference as well as the full Senate. New Committee Chairs will be selected by a vote of the members of each respective panel and then ratified by the Republican Conference.

To view the committee assignments, please click here.


GPC, Washington DC Office


Chairman-Elect Conaway Announces Subcommittee Leaders for the House Committee on Agriculture

Chairman-Elect K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) made the following statement today regarding the Subcommittee leadership for the House Committee on Agriculture.

“I am pleased to announce the men and women who will be leading the House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittees during the 114th Congress.   These individuals will play a leading role in developing policies on an array of issues that are important to all Americans.

“A fellow West Texan, Congressman Randy Neugebauer (TX-19), will serve as Vice Chairman of the Committee.  We have worked together for years and I will benefit from his counsel as I continue to work for both West Texas and the nation.

“I would also like to congratulate Congressman Collin Peterson for being selected as the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee.  I have enjoyed working with Congressman Peterson and I look forward to continuing working with him in the 114th Congress.”

Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research: Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13) 

Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit: Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08)

Conservation and Forestry: Congressman Glenn Thompson (PA-05)

General Farm Commodities and Risk Management: Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01)

Livestock and Foreign Agriculture:  Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07)

Nutrition: Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02)

Peterson Statement: Conaway Named Ag Committee Chair

WASHINGTON – November 19, 2014 – House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson today made the following statement after it was announced that Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, will succeed Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., to chair the House Agriculture Committee during the 114th Congress.

“I congratulate Congressman Conaway on his election to Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. As a fellow CPA, I think we can find common ground as the Committee oversees farm bill implementation and reauthorizing the CFTC during the next Congress. The Agriculture Committee has a strong bipartisan tradition, which I look forward to continuing under Chairman Conaway.

“I would also like to commend Chairman Lucas for his leadership. While he will no longer be Chairman, I have no doubt he will remain a strong advocate for America’s farmers and ranchers and a respected member of the Agriculture Committee.”


Mike Conaway Named Chairman of House Committee on Agriculture

Congressman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) issued the following statement after the House Republican Steering Committee selected him as the 50th chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the 50th chairman of the storied House Committee on Agriculture.  The work that farmers and ranchers do is part of our country’s foundation.  They feed, fuel, and clothe our nation.  I look forward to building on the bipartisan work of the chairmen who have led this committee for the past two centuries.

“I represent, and love, rural America. It’s the backbone of our country.  The values and concepts that make America great are stored in rural America, and I want to protect that.  There are fewer and fewer voices representing rural America, and I am honored to be one of those voices. That is my overarching drive as the Committee moves forward.”


GPC, Washington DC Office