Congressional staffers and others who want “just the facts” in the farm policy debate now have a new Web site that can provide up-to-the-minute background information and responses to attacks on the farm bill.

The new Web site, http://www.farmpolicyfacts.com, was launched by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, along with supporting sponsors, including the National Cotton Council, USA Rice Federation, the National Association of Wheat Growers and the American Sugar Alliance.

The organizations are members of a newly formed, non-profit coalition called Farm Policy Facts. FPF distributed the first issue of an e-newsletter it will be sending to members of targeted congressional committees and staff on the same day it launched the Web site, June 8.

The site is designed to be a comprehensive resource for Hill staffers to access quality information for the farm bill debate, which has begun in earnest with the mark-up sessions being conducted by subcommittees of the House Agriculture Committee.

“The Web pages carry newsletters and opinion pieces, photos, audio clips and an RSS feed service,” said a press release issued by FPF. “It offers unfiltered and exclusive news articles about farm policy and those who produce the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world.”

Currently featured on the front page is a research study conducted by Texas Tech University and recently distributed to all U.S. senators by Senate Agriculture Committee member Norm Coleman, R-Minn. The study “Guide to Foreign Crop Subsidies and Tariffs” can be downloaded from a link on the front page.

Also featured is an opinion piece titled “Farmers Deserve Our Thanks, Not Our Criticism,” written by Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., in support of the farm bill.

The site also includes “News Exclusives,” issuing breaking farm policy-related news; “Misperception Musings,” offering farm policy fallacies; “Lawmaker’s Turn,” featuring congressional members speaking out; “Commodity Corner,” containing facts about America’s various commodities; and “Farm Life,” providing a glimpse into America’s farming sector.

Some of the other features found at the site include: the daily “Fact of the Day,” providing useful information about America’s farmers; “RSS” feeds that enable frequent users to receive breaking news in real-time; a comprehensive “Policy Library” complete with farm bill information, testimony and news; “Rural America Headlines” from across the country; a “Photo Gallery” of American farmers and farms; a catalog of farm policy-related “Radio News,” and other useful links for more information about America’s farmers.

e-mail: flaws@farmpress.com