If you live in farm country, the Farm Bill shapes your landscape. Whether through crop insurance, FSA loans, conservation programs, training opportunities, or any of the other dozens of policies included in this giant piece of legislation, chances are you interact with Farm Bill policy on a regular basis. Because the Farm Bill shapes the lives of rural Americans, the Center is committed to ensuring that rural Americans shape the Farm Bill.
On Aug. 28, the Center partnered with the Iowa Farmers Union to host a Farm Bill Listening Session, where a small but mighty group of farmers and rural advocates met to discuss priorities for the 2018 farm bill. Also in attendance were staff for three members of Congress – Sen. Grassley, Rep. Blum and Rep. Loebsack.
Meeting participants were most concerned about increasing farm consolidation and the related barriers for beginning or diversified farmers. They also talked about the need to find a workable solution to Iowa’s water quality crisis.
The Center has prioritized each of these issues for years. With each Farm Bill, we aim to improve conservation outcomes, reverse farm consolidation, and support beginning farmers and ranchers. Over the next couple of years, we will focus on the crop insurance program as a vehicle to advance each of these priorities.
Crop insurance is a vital safety net for farmers and the nation they feed. But as the largest commodity program, we believe crop insurance should be structured to provide more bang for the taxpayers’ buck. Crop insurance should help level the playing field for beginners, small- and mid-sized farmers, and those who are going the extra mile to conserve our natural resources. It should incentivize – rather than discourage – farmers to steward both the land and their communities.
We invite you to work with us to create a Farm Bill that supports good farming and vibrant rural communities. Are you in? Tell us here.
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