Agriculture

Agriculture is a critical part of the character and economic vitality of the Second District. Cattle, dairy, and tobacco are several commodities that dominate the agricultural community in the Second District.

During my years in office, I have worked with members from both sides of the aisle to do best address the needs of local farmers. I am especially proud of my work to pass the tobacco buyout in 2004, ending the outdated quota system. This legislation provided $10 billion to tobacco producers and quota owners. Over $565 million will go to tobacco farmers in the Second District.

I have sponsored two bills in the 109th Congress to assist farmers and rural communities. The Rural Communities Investment Act (H.R. 4854),would make the interest income on farm real estate and certain rural housing loans exempt from federal taxation to facilitate lower-cost financing for qualified individuals. The New Markets Tax Credit Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3957), would extend a federal program created to provide capital for business and economic development ventures in low income and rural communities.

I am also a sponsor of the Agricultural Business Security Tax Credit Act (H.R. 713), legislation that would provide tax incentives for agricultural businesses to enhance security at locations where agricultural chemicals and fertilizers are manufactured and stored

Other legislation supported:


- Cosponsored legislation to aid dairy farmers through the closure of the milk import loophole. (HR 521)
- Supported legislation to encourage beginning farmers and to aid in the preservation of farmland for agricultural use. The bill grants a 100% exemption from capital gains taxes to those who sell their farmland to qualified beginning producers and a 50% exemption to anyone who sells their land to someone keeping it in agricultural production. (HR 2034)
- Supported legislation to streamline inconsistent state requirements by creating a uniform national labeling system for food products. (HR 4167)
- Sponsored legislation to aid certain farmers in their effort to fully participate in Social Security by updating the optional method of reporting (HR 1929)