More Farm in the Farm Bill

Senator Boozman meeting  with agriculture  producers in  Wyoming. photo courtesy of Senator Boozman
Senator Boozman meeting with agriculture producers in Wyoming. photo courtesy of Senator Boozman

More Farm in the Farm Bill

I’ve been on the road visiting with farmers, ranchers, foresters, rural community leaders, and nutrition specialists since we began undertaking the daunting task of writing a new farm bill.

At the invitation of my colleagues, I’ve traveled across the country to hear directly from stakeholders as to what we need to include in this contract between Congress and our nation’s agriculture community. In fact, I just joined Senator John Thune in his home state of South Dakota for my 19th farm bill listening session this month.

While we’ve received plenty of valuable input at every stop, there has been a reoccurring theme from the outset when I joined Senator John Hoeven in North Dakota for my very first listening session.

The takeaway from that event has been echoed across the countryside and in meetings throughout Washington: “we need more farm in the farm bill.”

As the Republican leader of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am committed to making that happen. This next farm bill must update the risk management tools farmers and ranchers need to succeed in order to reflect the nature of the challenges under which they operate today. That means we must invest in modernizing the outdated reference prices that are used within commodity programs and making crop insurance more affordable and accessible.

Because here’s the reality—producers are experiencing unprecedented challenges, regulatory uncertainty and historic volatility in the farm economy, all of which are projected to get worse.  

Historic inflation, rising interest rates, a record trade deficit, devastating natural disasters, and global disruptions will make it more difficult for our farmers to succeed in the years to come.  

My Republican colleagues on the committee and I intend to release our vision for how we can meet the call to put “more farm in the farm bill.”

One key provision of our framework has already been introduced.

I recently joined Senator Hoeven and others to introduce the Federal Agriculture Risk Management Enhancement and Resilience (FARMER) Act which seeks to improve crop insurance affordability and accessibility by increasing premium support for the highest levels of coverage and enhancing the supplemental coverage option.

I commend my colleague’s leadership in introducing the FARMER Act and proactively addressing the needs of farmers and ranchers who have asked for improvements to the federal crop insurance program. 

This bill includes critical components to modernizing the farm safety net for producers across all regions and all commodities. The strength of this approach is underscored by the endorsement of over 20 grassroots organizations representing the voices of farm families across the country. 

We can pass a farm bill that strengthens commodity programs and crop insurance while also making improvements across every other title to meet our shared goals. 

This isn’t an either-or decision. 

The next farm bill provides an incredible opportunity to make things right for farmers, ranchers, rural communities, and those in need.  

Working together, we can protect and enhance voluntary conservation programs, provide investments needed to open new export markets and expand existing markets, build on research that allows our farmers to do more with less while reducing environmental impacts, protect the health of our nation’s herds and flocks, and help rural communities flourish and prosper.  

Passing such a bill is never an easy task, but it’s one Congress has come together to accomplish time and again.  

I believe we can, and will, do so here as well. I am proud to serve as a voice for farmers, ranchers, producers, and rural communities, and will continue leading efforts to deliver the tools and resources they rely on and deserve.

Senator John Boozman, Arkansas Republican, serves as Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. He also serves on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. 

official portrait courtesy of Senator Boozman


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