NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments strongly supports the implementation of a comprehensive, national Farm to School program that helps schools provide staff training, conduct menu planning, locate sources of locally produced food, purchase food, and assists farmers and schools to purchase the necessary equipment to encourage the utilization of locally produced food products.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act establishes a program to provide grants to farmers, loggers, and others who provide agricultural biomass to facilities in the state that generate electric energy and use the best available emissions control technology.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments representing state, territorial and provincial policy leaders urge the use of local, fresh milk in WIC and other federally funded hunger security programs.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of State Governments representing state, territorial and provincial policy leaders urge the USDA to provide back-payments to dairy producers who were financially hurt by USDA errors in nonfat dry milk price reports.

RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments urges all members of Congress to join the bipartisan efforts to ensure that legislation is enacted to allow the interstate shipment of state inspected meats and poultry.

CSG South

Most provisions of the 2002 Farm Bill will expire in 2007. The USDA and Congress have been seeking input on a new Farm Bill through a series of public hearings throughout the end of 2005 and early 2006. The 2007 Farm Bill will be crafted at a time unlike that of any other in the legislation’s long history. A host of factors will affect discussions and deliberations on the future of the Farm Bill and U.S. farm policy. Among them are the growing federal deficit, ongoing negotiations of the Doha round of the World Trade Organization, political and leadership situations in Congress, and current farm sector conditions, among many others. These four major influences provide some context for understanding the debate that is ahead on the Farm Bill.

CSG South

If, as is often suggested, fresh food is a key component in improving school lunches, then connecting farms to schools represents a logical solution to the child nutrition problem. Farm to school programs promote the use of locally produced foods in school nutrition programs and often include educational activities about local food and farming issues. Farm to school programs also can increase fresh fruit and vegetable options available to students, and have been shown to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables among participating students.

CSG South

The current farm bill reauthorization takes place in an environment more heated than any in recent times. Trade and budget concerns combined with growing domestic fiscal policy demands will make the 2007 Farm Bill a very difficult piece of legislation to craft. Public and political engagement in agriculture has declined as the number of Americans living on farms has steadily dropped over the past several decades. This translates into a considerably weaker political position for agriculture as farm policy competes at the table with numerous other sectors of the economy. To make sense of some of the complexities associated with the crafting of the 2007 Farm Bill, this document will explore a few of the major forces shaping the Farm Bill debate.

CSG South

On October 22, 2004, the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 was signed into law. The Act, which includes a range of corporate tax cuts, began as a repeal of an export tax break for U.S. corporations that had been deemed to be in violation of the rules of the World Trade Organization in 2003. The final Act became a vehicle for a range of business tax relief along with simplifying international tax law. Tucked away in the legislation is quite possibly the most historically significant part of the bill. Along with reducing the tax rate on corporations repatriating income from overseas operations, the Act contains a buyout for tobacco quota owners and growers.

CSG South

On November 7 and 8, 2003, legislators and policymakers from across the South met in Point Clear, Alabama, for the 2003 SLC Rural Forum, an open discussion on the status and future of the rural South. Through the two days of discussion, participants were asked to identify the most critical concerns for rural areas, the potential partners for addressing these concerns, and the appropriate role for state government in improving the condition of the rural South.