Friday, March 18, 2016

Soy Growers Oppose Targeting of SNAP in Budget Proposal


WASHINGTON (March 18, 2016) - The American Soybean Association (ASA) responded to a proposal included in this week's House Republican budget, passed by the House Budget Committee, that would cut spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, by transitioning it to a block grant-based system administered at the state level. ASA opposed the proposal based on its longstanding opposition to reopening of the farm bill and policy opposing the separation of the nutrition and agriculture components of the bill. In a statement, ASA President Richard Wilkins of Greenwood, Del., also signaled the association's desire to unify the farm and food communities moving into debate on the 2018 Farm Bill:
"When we talk about maintaining the integrity of programs authorized in the farm bill, we mean all of the programs in the farm bill, including SNAP. As a policy organization, we encourage the regular evaluation of programs to determine how they can be most effective. But as producers of the nation's food, we can't support a proposal that would weaken the ability of Americans in the most need to buy that food. As we approach discussions on the next Farm Bill, we need to stand together as a food community. This partnership is critically important for those of us in production agriculture, since only 60 or 70 members of the House identify themselves as representing rural districts. We must ensure that nutrition and farm programs stay united and the decades-old link between the people who grow the nation's food and the people in need of help to put it on their family tables is preserved.”