We, the undersigned organizations representing millions of members, supporters and activists want to free up farmers and ranchers from excessive federal government intervention. Our organizations have come together to urge all members to get involved in helping to shape the next farm bill (it is already being worked on) and to develop legislation consistent with the following three principles:
1) Farmers should be allowed to compete freely in the marketplace. Like other businesses, farmers should be able to reap the rewards of competition. By removing existing interventionist policies that attempt to insulate farmers from market forces, such as low prices, the federal government will allow farmers to better respond to the market.
2) At most, the federal government should only provide risk-related assistance for uncontrollable natural events. It is one thing to protect farmers from major crop losses and quite another to protect them from less-than-expected revenue. Any type of risk-related federal assistance should only be provided if there has been a major crop loss, such as from severe weather.
3) Federal agricultural policy should not be a source of cronyism. Federal programs should not benefit favored special interests at the expense of other agricultural producers, consumers, taxpayers or other industries.
We believe that it is long overdue to place faith in American farmers and treat them with the respect they deserve as sophisticated and innovative business leaders. Farmers -- especially those with operations with a million dollars or more in sales that account for most agricultural production -- are more than capable of competing in the marketplace.
The undersigned organizations pledge to be active in the upcoming farm bill debate. We look forward to working with you to free up farmers consistent with these three principles.