Don’t count the farm bill out in ‘23

Senate Ag Committee Ranking Member John Boozman joined Indiana Senators Mike Braun and Todd Young at an Indiana Farm Bureau Shop Talk meeting on Monday in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Ranking Member John Boozman says the Senate Ag Committee is working hard and moving in the right direction to complete a farm bill.

“Right now we’re actually getting text down on paper—that’s a good thing,” he says. “We’re trying to get this done by October 1st when it runs out, but we want to get it done for sure by the end of the year.”

Speaking to Brownfield during an Indiana Farm Bureau Shop Talk meeting Monday in Indiana, he said he’s hopeful the farm bill can be completed this year.

“The problem is when you get into the election years and election-year politics, it makes it harder (to get things done),” he says. “Both sides would like to get this done by the first of the year.”

John Newton, chief economist for Senate Ag Committee Republicans, says the committee has been working on the farm bill since April 2022.

During a phone interview on Monday, he told Brownfield the committee has made progress during hearings and listening sessions.

“Since then, we’ve had a total of about 20 full committee and subcommittee hearings,” he says. “Senator Boozman was in Indiana on Monday. He has been in a number of other states hearing from stakeholders. He was in Wyoming, Kentucky, Nevada, and North Carolina. He has several other states he plans to visit during the August recess. That’s all an information gathering process, listening to stakeholders, making sure that we’re listening to the grassroots producers on what they need in this farm bill. Then our staff is taking that information. We’re working with Senator Stabenow’s staff, G.T. Thompson’s folks, and all four corners to try to identify the low hanging fruit and start getting this farm bill down on paper so we can get it done this year.”

Historically the farm bill has bipartisan support and Boozman says he is working alongside Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow in hearings in D.C. and listening sessions across the country with the goal of hearing feedback from as many constituents as possible.

“Specialty crops are very different than some of our row crops. Animal agriculture is different. The list goes on and on,” he says. “The farm bill title also is all about nutrition and rural America. We’re making sure that aspect is in good shape and then taking all that information and putting it together to come up with a farm bill that we can all be very proud of.”

Be on the lookout for more coverage from the event on Brownfield Ag News.

Audio: John Boozman

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