There’s still opportunity to get a farm bill completed

The head of the National Potato Council says farmers and members of the ag industry are going to have to work hard to ensure a farm bill gets done in a timely manner.

Kam Quarles tells Brownfield industry stakeholders have to be talking to members of Congress. “We’ve got to be talking to everyone involved in this process and let them know how important it is to make sure the farm bill doesn’t go into some type of hibernation,” he says.

Quarles says even with the disruption, he’s not giving up on getting a farm bill across the finish line. “The House and the Senate agriculture committees left to their own devices, can put together really beneficial legislation,” he says. “All of agriculture has had really great conversations with them and have a lot of very solid ideas for a new farm bill that is ready to go.”

But, he says this week’s removal of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House is a reminder that elections matter, and it is important to select members of Congress who represent their constituents. “They are individuals who will ask hard questions, but then they also understand how complicated and competitive our environment is, both domestically and internationally,” he says.  “And really want to sit down at the table and come up with thoughtful solutions to these really complicated processes.”

Without a speaker, the U.S. House cannot conduct any legislative work. While North Carolina Congressman Patrick McHenry has been named “speaker pro tempore”, it is an interim role that has limited authority.  In addition to the 2023 Farm Bill, the House still needs to pass appropriations bills and fund the government to prevent a shutdown next month.

AUDIO: Kam Quarles, National Potato Council

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