Farm Bill Comments from Growth Energy Economist

Cindy Zimmerman

The farm bill is important for agriculture and renewable energy and I had the opportunity to chat with a veteran farm policy expert who now serves as Vice President and Chief Economist for Growth Energy.

growth-millerJim Miller has served many roles in his career, from leadership positions with the National Farmers Union and National Association of Wheat Growers to Senior Policy Advisor on the Budget Committee under Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) and USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services, so he’s had his share of farm policy experience and farm bills in particular.

“The process for developing the 2013 farm bill is just a tremendous mess,” said Miller. “The action that the House took in splitting the nutrition title from the rest of the farm bill I don’t think is very hopeful to those of us interested in farm bills and what that means for rural America.”

Miller thinks it will be very difficult for the House and Senate to achieve a compromise. “I do not envy those who are likely to be appointed to the conference to try to reconcile these differences,” he said. The House has yet to appoint conferees and now has several more procedural steps before that might occur. In the meantime, Congress is facing the bigger issues of keeping the government funded and dealing with the debt ceiling, which means it is almost certain the current farm bill extension will expire at the end of September without a new one. Miller says that’s not a big deal for most farm programs and the nutrition program but will impact a number of the other titles which lose the authorization to operate when the extension expires.

Jim also comments about the challenges to the RFS in this interview from the New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club event being held this week in Lyle, Minnesota at the Absolute Energy ethanol plant: Jim Miller, Growth Energy

Audio, Equipment, Ethanol, Farm Bill, Farm Policy, New Holland

Comments 3

  1. Mr. Miller makes some very valid points about the issues government is facing, especially the fact that the extension will expire without the creation of a new one. With this expiration some operations may halt for some time. Let’s hope it gets worked out.

  2. Mr. Miller makes some very valid points about the issues government is facing, especially the fact that the extension will expire without the creation of a new one. With this expiration some operations may halt for some time. Let’s hope it gets worked out.

Comments are closed.