Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Statement Regarding 2016 Omnibus Appropriations

“Thank you to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for passing the 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill and the tax package,” said Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) President Kevin Paap. “This bipartisian legislation was the result of compromise. Everyone got something they didn’t like. Agriculture got some things done that we needed to get done. But there is still a lot left to do that was not included in the bill.”

“We appreciate the support to make Section 179 Small Business Expensing permanent and extending other tax provisions that add certainty for farm and ranch families,” said Paap.

“The inclusion of agriculture appropriations provides funding for a variety of programs that are critical for farmers. The bill holds the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to its lowest funding levels since 2008, and its lowest staffing levels since 1989. With that said, we still need to stop EPA from implementing their ruling on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS),” said Paap. “The bill also repeals mandatory Country-of-Origin labeling for beef and pork which Farm Bureau supports as it will bring these requirements into World Trade Organization compliance.”

“While some good things were accomplished, the work is not done. Congress’s failure to stop the EPA’s unlawful WOTUS rule must be addressed,” said Paap. “We need to stay diligent on items not included in the final bill, including delisting the gray wolf off of the Endangered Species Act and implementing voluntary labeling of GMOs.”

Minnesota Farm Bureau – Farmers ● Families ● Food is comprised of 78 local Farm Bureau associations across Minnesota. Members make their views known to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public. Programs for young farmers and ranchers develop leadership skills and improve farm management. Promotion and Education Committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom and safety education for children. Join Farm Bureau today and support efforts to serve as an advocate for rural Minnesota, www.fbmn.org.