By Kate Hansen, former staff member
Farm bill negotiations are in full swing in Washington, D.C., laying the groundwork for rural and agriculture policy for years to come.
Developed by Congress, the farm bill consists of 12 sections that set funding levels and guidelines for a range of programs including conservation, rural development, crop insurance, credit, and nutrition. One can see the farm bill in action every day across rural America—a farmer receiving assistance to plant cover crops, a small business owner securing a loan to help it expand, or a family supported by nutrition programs.
We want to be sure your voice is heard during these negotiations. In preparation for the 2023 farm bill, we gathered extensive feedback from rural entrepreneurs, farmers, ranchers, landowners, and trusted partners to develop a series of recommendations. The feedback spans topics including conservation, rural development, small meat processing, crop insurance, and language accessibility.
We took it to nearly 20 members of Congress and encouraged them to take action. Many of the ideas will be included in proposed legislation. Others will guide our work as we promote and defend important elements as the farm bill is pieced together.
As rural constituents and supporters, we invite you to follow along. Earlier this year, we instituted a new series, the Farm Bill Bulletin, which will provide intermittent updates on the status of the farm bill. If a need arises, we will also send out action alerts with opportunities for you to express your opinion and get involved.
The timeline is not certain, but the coming weeks and months will likely include drafting and “marking up” the legislation. Once each agriculture committee has drafted its version of the bill, it is put to a committee vote before going to the full Senate or House floor. The Senate and House must work together to create a version of the bill that satisfies both chambers and vote to pass the legislation before sending it to the president for a final signature.
As the process forges ahead, we expect plenty of opportunities for you to share your input. To stay up to date and receive Farm Bill Bulletin updates, sign up for our email newsletter.
To learn more about our farm bill priorities, visit cfra.org/2023-farm-bill-platform.
Feature photo: In June, Policy Director Johnathan Hladik (left) met with legislative staff for Sen. John Thune to discuss the Conservation Stewardship Program. | Photo submitted