So what is the impact on New Mexico? The New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council has put together a great summary on legislative activities on the part of our elected officials from New Mexico in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives regarding this issues. The summary is posted below.
By Clark de Schweinitz, Pam Roy, and Kathleen Gonzalez
Senator Martin Heinrich has co-sponsored amendment S.954 Food and Agriculture Market Development, Entrepreneurship, and Education introduced by Senator Brown (D-OH) that includes several great provisions:
Fixing the Community Food Project Competitive Grant Program language and increasing funding from $5 million to $10 million per year in mandatory funds
- Increasing the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program mandatory funding to $23.1 million in 2014 and $25.6 million for fiscal years 2015-18
- Increasing funding for Value Added Producer Grants from $12.5 million to $20 million per year
- Increasing funding for Farmers' Market and Local Food Promotion Grants from $20 million to $30 million; and loans for local food enterprises
In addition, Senator Heinrich is co-sponsoring amendments SA.1008 Food and Agriculture Market Development, Entrepreneurship and Education, and SA.1055 Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program and Veteran Producer Training.
Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham has been working tirelessly to learn about the needs of New Mexico's agriculture community. She put her skills to good use on the House Agriculture Committee by co-sponsoring the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2013. She also took the lead on the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers amendment which did not pass the Agriculture Committee last week. Lujan-Grisham is also providing an important voice for the SNAP Education Program.
Congressman Ben Ray Lujan also co-sponsored the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act and continues to support many of our Farm Bill priorities.
amendments that match NMFAPC Priorities, the second lists amendments targeted by the Rural Coalition.
In the meantime, Congress has started a week-long recess. It's not yet certain when the Senate will take up the Farm Bill again, though it could be as early as the week of June 3. Alternatively senators could wait until after they work on immigration reform, although our colleagues at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) say it seems increasingly likely that the the Senate will stay on the Farm Bill.