Rep. Tim Holden earns Farm Bureau Golden Plow Award

Mar 6, 2009
by WLJ
Rep. Tim Holden earns Farm Bureau Golden Plow Award

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has honored Rep. Tim Holden, D-PA, with its Golden Plow Award, the highest honor the organization bestows on members of Congress.

Holden was presented the award last Wednesday for his support of America’s farmers and ranchers by AFBF President Bob Stallman and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Carl Shaffer.

“Rep. Holden was a steadfast supporter of agriculture and Farm Bureau’s policies during the 110th Congress,” said Stallman. “With critical issues such as maintaining farm bill support, renewable energy policy, and regulatory concerns facing our farm families, his understanding of agriculture will be key during the 111th Congress. We look forward to working even closer with him in the months ahead.”

Holden, who represents Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District, was a leader in the 110th Congress advocating for critical programs in the 2008 Farm Bill, including: support for the direct and countercyclical programs; the Milk Income Loss Contract Program; maintaining the planting prohibition; establishing initiatives for direct marketing opportunities for fruit and vegetable growers; and for research funding for bee Colony Collapse Disorder.

When Pennsylvania Farm Bureau nominated Holden to receive the Golden Plow, it cited his work as chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research, where he played a pivotal role in focusing on conservation practices that support agriculture and helping farmers mitigate erosion and nutrient runoff.

After enactment of the farm bill, Holden used his leadership position as vice chairman of the Agriculture Committee to address implementation problems with the 10-acre rule. Working with Farm Bureau leaders and his colleagues, Holden amassed bipartisan support, including all 19 representatives from Pennsylvania, to urge the Agriculture Department to revise its implementation of the rule. The outcome was legislation that ultimately fixed the problem and supported farmers with smaller parcels of land. AFBF presents a Golden Plow Award to one senator and one House member each year. Farm Bureau awards the Golden Plow to a member of Congress, regardless of party affiliation, whose philosophy or record demonstrates his or her commitment to the private enterprise system; sound agricultural policies supported by Farm Bureau; fiscal conservatism; and reduced federal regulations on businesses and individuals.