Lobbyist says writing a farm bill isn’t getting any easier

The head lobbyist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to write a farm bill.

Ethan Lane says it is a big, complicated process and the decline in bipartisanship and the continual need for farm bill extensions have spurred conversations in recent years that the next farm bill Congress writes could be the final one.  “However, it does bridge two very important constituencies,” he says.  “People who eat the food and people who grow the food.”

He tells Brownfield the marriage of those two groups remains critically important. “Because you can’t get either piece of it moved on its own,” he says.  “You have to have that let’s hold hands and jump off the cliff together mentality to get these big things done.”

But, Lane says the longer the farm bill process drags on, the more Congress looks for outside-the-box solutions to the farm bill debate.  “Whether it gets broken up into some smaller pieces,” he says.  “I know those are some ideas that have been floated.  Certainly, I think there will be this type of conversation five years from now.”

AUDIO: Ethan Lane, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

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