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Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting a Farm Bill.

April 17, 1961

Dear Mr.___________:

Transmitted herewith, for consideration by the Congress, is a draft of a bill which would carry out the principal recommendations set forth in my message to the Congress on March 16, 1961. I believe that the legislation will provide the basis for a sound and healthy agricultural economy.

It will enable the farmer, in cooperation with the government, to adjust his production to meet our domestic needs and our international commitments for food and fiber. It is directed toward assuring that the farmer has an opportunity to achieve an income comparable to that enjoyed by other segments of our economy for comparable investments in labor and capital. At the same time, it makes provision for the consideration and protection of the interests of consumers. The programs established under the legislation should gradually reduce the burden imposed by large storage costs and high surpluses.

Included in the bill is an extension of the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, together with additional amendments to enable us to correlate our programs in agriculture more effectively with our foreign aid programs. This will permit us to make maximum use of our agricultural productivity to further economic development, peace and freedom in the world. Other provisions in the bill are directed toward the encouragement of farm cooperatives, the expansion of commercial exports of agriculture products, and the liberalization and extension of farm credit services.

This legislation will offer the farmer an opportunity to share directly in the framing of the programs that determine the marketing of his products. It permits the producers of food and fiber to assert their views upon the management of their production. Final authority over the policies and programs to be adopted continues to reside in the Congress.

Although the proposed legislation deals with agricultural problems, it will have beneficial effects upon both agriculture and industry, both the farmer and the city dweller, both rural and urban workers. The interrelation between prosperity on the farm and economic health of the city has never been more apparent. I urge that the Congress give these proposals prompt consideration.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

John F. Kennedy, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting a Farm Bill. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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