National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued a statement saying: "I am pleased that the conference committee has begun to officially meet. It is encouraging that the ball is now rolling and we are closer to a final bill than we have been in the past two years.
"We have met with many of the members of the conference committee and their staff. We told them that we need to maintain permanent law, establish fixed reference prices for commodity programs, enact an inventory management tool as part of the dairy safety net, provide $900 million in mandatory funding for renewable energy efforts, oppose unnecessary legislative changes to the Country-of-Origin Labeling law, and include adequate funding levels for the Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program.
"I urge the members of the 2013 Farm Bill Conference Committee to keep in mind that this legislation impacts all Americans. There is a need for certainty for US family farmers, ranchers, fishermen, rural residents and hungry Americans. The farm bill must be completed this year."