United States Representatives Jim Baird, Greg Pence, and Victoria Spartz heard from farmers and farm groups during a Farm Bill listening session at the state fairgrounds Wednesday. The existing Farm Bill runs through 2023, so why have a listening session now?
“You know, it always amazes me, the last Farm Bill we passed was in December of 2018. So, we just barely got it under the wire. So, I think it’s a responsibility for us on the ag committee, of which I am a member, to start that conversation now,” Baird explained. “We’re halfway through, and I realize we’ve had a pandemic, but we’re halfway through, more than halfway through, to the need for the next Farm Bill.”
Baird told Hoosier Ag Today what he expected to hear from farmers during the listening session.
“They’re going to want to keep the risk management part of that. Our financial members, our banks, have appreciated having that risk management where we can fall back and we can purchase insurance to protect us. Because the dollars that are involved on these farms are significant and you cannot afford to lose a year’s production.”
He added that agriculture needs to be part of the conversation surrounding climate change as farmers have been involved in conservation for years.
Congressman Pence shared with us his primary concern for the next Farm Bill.
“The one thing I’m a little concerned about as we go forward, I am a Republican, increased regulation on the ag industry is something I’m a little concerned about. I hope to hear them talk about that today, what specifically they are fearful of.”
Hear my full interview with Congressman Baird below.