Farm Bill public meeting to discuss top priorities
WASHINGTON D.C.- Today the Senate and House Ag Committee leaders will host a meeting with the full Farm Bill Conference Committee. This public meeting will give each member time to outline priorities that are most important to them.
“The 2018 Farm Bill touches a lot of people,” Rep. Marshall said. “My hope is today we realize we have far more in common in this bill than we have apart and can get a final bill done on time. Kansas and all of agriculture is counting on us.”
Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Time: 9:30 AM ET / 8:30 AM CT
Place: 325 Russell Senate Office Building
*** Watch the live stream HERE
Congressman Marshall’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery:
Thank you Mr. Chairman, –
Kansas agriculture is in uncertain times. Multiple years of low prices and continued drought have taken their toll. Today Kansas farm bankruptcies are six times what they were just three years ago. That is why I have no higher priority than a five-year farm bill, done on time.
Farm country needs a multi-year bill that protects crop insurance, tightens the safety net, opens markets and makes responsible investments in our communities.
I’m pleased that both bills make serious efforts at improving title one payments and the data used to calculate them and am hopeful that the final bill will expand access to them. Agriculture is a risky endeavor; I see no need for the federal government to place more rules on who should be covered or how their business should be structured.
I’m also glad to see that both bills include new provisions on animal health. When we consider the economic harm from an animal disease outbreak, it is crucial that Congress invests in monitoring, research, response training, and vaccines.
The Senate proposed a study on livestock dealer defaults which have caused millions in losses for small businesses and are more common than realized. In 2015, a market in my district lost nearly a million dollars when a dealer defaulted. I strongly support the proposed study.
Today we have heard a great deal about the financial challenges dairies face. I’m glad to see both bills make improvements to their programs. My hope is we can combine the best of each bill to benefit dairy farmers of all sizes.
A great deal of the success in American agriculture has been from the adoption of technology, which is a direct result of investments made in agricultural research. The USDA’s research and funds provided to universities like Kansas State, help keep our producers on the cutting edge.
In conservation, keeping good land in production and focusing our working lands programs is the right approach. CRP rates should be realigned while allowing a minimal increase in the acreage cap. Further, the House bill focuses on EQIP – which is straightforward to administer, favored by the vast majority of producers and puts conservation money to work.
As a physician, I saw firsthand the impact that nutrition had on the mothers I served and the babies I delivered. That is why I’m proud of the nutrition provisions the House put forward. When you have a program that has added 9 million participants since the height of the great recession, it’s clear that something isn’t working. The House approach provides a historic investment in job training. A new skillset or degree can be life-changing. We owe it to the people SNAP serves to be bold and improve these outcomes.
To close, the 2018 Farm Bill touches a lot of people. My hope is today we realize we have far more in common in this bill than we have apart and can get a final bill done on time. Kansas and all of agriculture is counting on us.