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NCBA Statement on President Signing 2002 Farm Bill

Representing the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) at the White House signing ceremony was Wythe Willey, NCBA president. Wythe was joined by his wife, Susan Willey, and several members of the NCBA staff. Mr. and Mrs. Willey stood behind President Bush during opening remarks and signing of the bill.

"NCBA and its members had hundreds of meetings and contacts with Congress during the development of the Farm Bill (Farm Security Act of 2002), emphasizing the importance of a fair commodity title; a conservation title that supports farmers and ranchers' conservation efforts and trade provisions that enable producers to compete effectively in today's global marketplace. We are pleased that President Bush has signed a farm bill that includes these important components.

"The president commented that the United States produces more food than is necessary to feed the U.S. population - and we agree. That is why we stand with President Bush in urging the Senate to pass trade promotion authority legislation so that the United States can negotiate fair trade deals for American commodities. We also stand with the president in urging permanent repeal of the estate tax ("death tax"), so that farms and ranches can be passed from generation to generation.

"Bush acknowledged that the bill is not perfect, but expressed his hope that it will aid U.S. ranchers and farmers by creating a positive environment for U.S. agriculture. Several members of Congress were present at the signing ceremony and stood next to the president when he signed the bill.

"The National Cattlemen's Beef Association was a prominent influence in passage of the Farm Bill and, with its passage, begins the process of implementing it in an effective manner."

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