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AFBF urges tax code changes

The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging members of Congress to support a change to the tax code that makes it more feasible for farmers and ranchers to donate food they grow to charitable organizations.

"Despite the wealth of our country, affordable food prices and ongoing government food assistance programs, some people still have difficulty purchasing food for a proper diet," AFBF President Bob Stallman wrote in letters to members of the Senate and House.

Stallman noted that Senate bill S. 1313, the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Extension Act of 2009, and similar legislation introduced in the House will encourage farmers to donate to hunger relief organizations. The new legislation would permanently allow farmers and ranchers to take advantage of tax deductions when they donate food they have grown, regardless of how they file their taxes. Under current law, which expires at the end of 2009, only farmers and ranchers who use the accrual method of accounting may benefit from incentives for charitable donations of food.

Stallman pointed out that some farmers and ranchers already donate food they grow to charitable organizations that feed the hungry. "Many more would do so if they were able to bear the costs of harvesting, processing and transportation," Stallman said.

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