The agriculture industry is experiencing a dramatic downturn as commodities pile up and prices fall to historic lows. Some in the ag industry are hoping the next Farm Bill can help — sooner as opposed to later. With farm loans steadily deteriorating, many farm groups are hoping to get the Farm Bill process started early.1
We’re Not in 2013 Anymore
“The last time we did a farm bill in 2014 our production agriculture industry was having really good times. Commodity prices were good,” said Mike Conaway, U.S. Congressman, Texas’ 11th Congressional District, and Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. “Well, in 2018, I don’t think that’s going to be the case. We’ve already experienced a 42% drop in production farm income.”2
Agriculture Needs The New Farm Bill Now
South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke says it is good that Conaway and others hope to start putting the new farm bill together in early 2017. Sombke says the current depressed ag economy demands it.3
“It’s never too early to gather information,” U.S. Rep Chellie Pingree, D-Maine said.4 Pingree is likely to become the next ranking member of the Subcommittee on Appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development and Food and Drug Administration in the 115th Congress.
Smart Organizations Are Starting Now
Many organizations, associations & corporations are beginning their planning for the Farm Bill now. By planning strategies ahead of time, these entities will be readily able to get in front of the right legislators to make sure their points of view are heard and the right message is getting out consistently.
As we reported in a previous blog, Chuck Conner, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC), recently participated in a forum on the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill sponsored by Farm Foundation. Conner said, “Farm groups in Washington have already begun a lot of preparation for the next Farm Bill…and several common themes were heard in these types of informal discussions. It was very clear from these stakeholder discussions that the agriculture community as a whole has little interest in slogging through another Farm Bill debate without working closely with our colleagues in the nutrition community.”