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2000 Policy Positions
of the Southern Legislative Conference

1. POLICY POSITION ON THE FEDERAL TOBACCO PRICE SUPPORT PROGRAM AND TOBACCO CONTRACTING AND PURCHASING


BACKGROUND

In the past three years, tobacco farmers throughout the states of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) have faced drastic cuts in tobacco quota, and have subsequently suffered substantial reductions in their income. This lost revenue has in turn had a negative effect on the economies of rural communities in the South.

In addition, some burley farmers have entered into tobacco contracting and purchasing agreements with tobacco companies, marketing their tobacco directly to the company, and bypassing the existing federal Tobacco Price Support Program, a very successful program which has brought stability to farmers for over 60 years.

RECOMMENDATION

The Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments urges the tobacco growing states in the SLC to adopt legislation and policies supporting the federal Tobacco Price Support Program as the best public policy governing the production and marketing of tobacco in those states.

Furthermore, the SLC urges state legislatures throughout the Conference to examine the impact of quota cuts on their communities and their farmers, especially their small farmers, and to study tobacco contracting and purchasing and its possible effect on the Tobacco Price Support Program and on small farmers.

Finally, the SLC directs its Agriculture & Rural Development Committee to research the issues involved in contracting, including the development of tobacco contracting for the 2000 market and the treatment of small growers, and to examine other states’ approaches to tobacco contracting.


Adopted by the Southern Legislative Conference, August 8, 2000, Biloxi, MS

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