H.R. 1297 would expand the range of business structures that qualify for loans through the Farm Service Agency, giving farmers a better chance of receiving credit when times are tough.
Limited liability corporations and trusts would be eligible for loans from the agency if this legislation is approved, Owens said.
“The world has changed, and many family farms are being transferred to the next generation or even the third generation ... and they need to secure loans, and this legislation will help accomplish that,” he said.
H.R. 1272 would provide grants through the USDA to promote research and education related to maple-syrup production, natural-resource sustainability in the industry, market promotion of maple products and greater access to lands containing maple trees for sugaring activities, Owens’s news release said.
He introduced the legislation with Vermont Congressman Peter Welch.
Owens said the cost of implementing these three bills would be minimal.
“There would be no negative impact,” he said.
‘COULD BUY TIME’
Owens also said he hopes the continuing resolution that Congress approved last Thursday to fund the government through the rest of fiscal 2013, which ends Oct. 1, helps bring some order to the nation’s finances.
“We can do a lot of things that help manage the government better,” he said.
The continuing resolution is expected to delay furloughs for civilian employees for two weeks and could help eliminate the days off without pay, according to published reports.
The furloughs are the result of a sequestration law that took effect March 1, which required $85 billion in automatic spending cuts in military and domestic programs.
Owens said the continuing resolution could buy some time for agencies to reallocate their funding to deal with the cuts with limited impact.
“I hear a desire to get back to regular order ... to line up what departments and agencies need.”
— Contributing Writer Darina Naidu assisted with this report.