North Carolina approves a permanent ban on swine waste lagoons; livestock market reforms largely absent from House farm bill

- In Raleigh, North Carolina, state legislators approved a bill on July 25, 2007, that permanently bans new swine waste lagoons and orders state environmental regulators to create environmental standards for all new waste systems.

Whole Foods Market to Offer Low-Interest Loans for Producers

Whole Foods Market, the nation’s largest natural foods supermarket chain, has announced the rollout of its Local Producer Loan Program. Whole Foods announced a year ago that it would increase its commitment to purchasing local foods for its stores across the country.

The loan program is part of that public campaign to encourage local farmers to become suppliers. The company plans to provide up to $10 million annually in low- interest loans to small producers in the U.S.

We're Worked Up Now

Just when we thought we had gotten over the House Farm Bill and moved on, something comes up to suck us back in. Last week, the blog Rochester Turning referenced our post on Rep. Louise Slaughter, Chairwoman of the House Rules Committee. That would be the committee that prevented a straight payment limits amendment from receiving a vote on the floor of the House. Anyway, Rochester Turning evidently resides in Slaughter's district. And Slaughter's office contacted Rochester Turning to tell them that the Blog for Rural America got their facts wrong.

Last Words on the House...

We've emerged from our collective post-House of Representatives farm bill funk to post some final thoughts. Then we're moving on to the Senate, where we have high hopes for a decent farm bill, especially one that addresses our all-consuming quest for payment limitations. In no particular order, here we go.

Most absurd statement during the House floor debate, courtesy of Marion Berry (D-AR):

House Farm Bill Unbalanced

The farm bill passed by the full House on July 27th will weaken family farms and exacerbate rural population loss. The bill would raise the true limit on direct farm payments, made regardless of farm prices, from $80,000 to $120,000 annually - covering 8,000 acres of corn and soybeans, 16,000 acres for a father/son operation.


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