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The path forward for the 2023 Farm Bill

Photo courtesy: Missouri Cattlemen’s Association

It’s time to write a new farm bill, but if Congress can get it done in time remains to be seen. 

Ag lobbyist Jay Truitt, principal of Policy Solutions says the days of developing a traditional farm bill may be drawing to a close.  He tells Brownfield there’s always going to be a need for farm policy.  “But the idea that we’re always going to have this big monstrosity of a thing that we’re going to do every 4 years, I’m not for sure it is a permanent fixture, but it is for 2023.”

Republicans have a narrow margin in the U.S. House — and recently struggled to elect a Speaker.  There are concerns that could delay the farm bill process, but former Chief Ag Negotiator for the US Trade Representative’s office Gregg Doud says this kind of a standoff isn’t new. “We haven’t been able to pass a farm bill through the House of Representatives during the last two farm bills,” he says.  “And who were the people blocking it, the Freedom Caucus, the same people that were doing what they were doing here this week.”

Doud says he wouldn’t have been surprised if Congress had decided to extend the current farm bill. “But what really complicates that is a big announcement that was made last week, that Debbie Stabenow is retiring,” he says.  “That means that the odds of actually doing a farm bill went up a lot, not the opposite.”

Truitt and Doud were both part of a recent panel discussion moderated by Brownfield at the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association annual meeting.

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