09.17.15

Ranking Member Stabenow Announces Committee Passage of Bipartisan Reauthorization Package

Bipartisan Deal Included Reauthorizations of Mandatory Price Reporting, National Forest Foundation, U.S. Grain Standards Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced Committee passage of three bipartisan reauthorizations: Mandatory Price Reporting, the National Forest Foundation Act, and the U.S. Grain Standards Act.

 

A summary of the three bills can be found HERE. Stabenow’s statement, as prepared for delivery, follows.

 

Thank you Mr. Chairman. I’d like to thank you – and our colleagues in the House – for working in a bipartisan way on these important reauthorizations.

 

Each of these bills helps to strengthen our rural economy – whether it’s ensuring our farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to be competitive in the global marketplace or helping to revitalize the 193 million-acres in our national forest system.

 

Earlier this year, the Committee heard from stakeholders about the important role the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) has in supporting American farmers as leading producers of high-quality grains and oilseeds.

 

And the agency has an especially vital role in protecting our country’s reputation as the number one exporter of farm goods worldwide.

 

In 2014, the U.S. had agricultural exports totaling more than $150 billion, the highest dollar value we’ve ever had.

 

In order to build on that momentum and help keep the U.S. the world’s premier supplier of high quality grains and oilseeds – we must have a system in place that that maintains the integrity of the existing inspection system, while also ensuring our farmers and producers have an efficient, responsive system in place to support their work.

 

I am confident that the bipartisan bill before us today does just that.

 

Another key tool used by our farmers and producers that is before us today is that of Mandatory Price Reporting (MPR).

 

Mandatory price reporting provides pork producers in Michigan, beef producers in Kansas, and livestock producers everywhere in between with critical information on current market conditions.

This reauthorization contains several new provisions that promote market transparency by capturing a greater volume of livestock transactions.

 

These changes are supported by producers and will help them make informed decisions when marketing their animals.

 

Last, this package includes a reauthorization of the National Forest Foundation.

 

Our National Forests are a treasure enjoyed by more than 170 million visitors each year and sustain nearly 223,000 jobs in local communities.

 

The Foundation is an excellent example of the important work that public-private partnership can accomplish when empowered to do so.

 

I would like to thank Senator Bennet for his leadership on this issue and so many forestry issues before this Committee.

 

Mr. Chairman – all three of these important bills will help keep our rural economy thriving and support the great work of our farmers and producers.

 

I urge members of this Committee to support these bills.

 

Thank you.

 

 

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