NACo welcomes ‘imperfect’ farm bill
The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, approved by Congress last week, is “imperfect,” says Larry Naake, executive director of the Washington-based National Association of Counties (NACo), but it will suffice. NACo is disappointed in the bill’s rural development funding, but still has written a letter to Congress supporting the final passage of the bill.
The bill carefully balances budget priorities, Naake said in a statement. “It provides a desperately needed boost to nutrition programs, encourages environmentally friendly conservation programs, provides added support to young farmers and supports the development of agriculturally based renewable energy, which will help to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” he said.
Under the law, nutrition promotions such as the Food Stamp program — which now will be called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — will receive $10.36 billion in new funding. It also will provide $50 million to address shortages at food pantries, a $1.26 billion increase in funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and an additional $1 billion over 10 years to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables for school children.
While President Bush vetoed the act, the House and Senate overrode the veto on Thursday. More information is available at