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Senate Ag GOP releases framework for upcoming farm bill

The Ranking Member of the Senate Ag Committee says the Republican-drafted framework of the farm bill puts farmers first. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas says the framework released Tuesday modernizes the farm safety net, facilitates the expansion of access to overseas markets, makes significant investments in ag research, but also makes historic investments in conservation and protects nutrition programs.

Craig Meeker, a Kansas farmer and chairman of the National Sorghum Producers says it contains what farmers need. “The cost reduction adjustments are critical and having more farm in the farm bill is definitely what National Sorghum Producers wanted in the new Farm bill,” he says. Senator Bozeman has delivered that in his framework.”

Senator Boozman says the proposal builds on the momentum from the Committee passage of the House version of the farm bill and Chairwoman Stabenow’s release of Senate Democratic priorities. 

Meeker tells Brownfield the increased funding for research is critical to the continued success of America’s farmers and ranchers. “Land grant universities and other places have the opportunities to produce better crops and better hybrids, or figuring out better nutritional values of crops and how we can make better use of what we’ve got or what we raise,” he says. “That’s incredibly important.”

Boozman says Senate Republicans are committed to continuing farm bill negotiations and advancing a bipartisan farm bill that meets the needs of farmers, ranchers, foresters, rural communities, and consumers.

He told reporters during a call Tuesday afternoon that the goal is to get a farm bill across the finish line this year – but if it doesn’t seem possible an extension of the current farm bill will be likely. 

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the framework released by Senator Boozman builds on the successful, bipartisan work of House Ag Committee Chairman Glenn GT Thompson and is a bill cattle producers across the country can support.

House Ag Committee Ranking Member David Scott says the Senate Ag Republican minority put forth policies, particularly on nutrition, that Democratic members “cannot and will not” accept. 

President of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives Chuck Conner says the proposal makes significant investments to strengthen farmers and ranchers, and bolster rural communities.  Conner says the next logical step in passing a farm bill this year is having the Senate Ag Committee take up the measure.  He says with both leaders having released framework he’s optimistic they will work together on a farm bill that can gain strong bipartisan support.

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