Terry Detrick, AFR Leaders Talk Farm Bill During Trip to WashingtonThu, 19 Apr 2012 16:59:15 CDT
Terry Detrick and three Oklahoma members of the board of American Farmers and Ranchers, recently spoke with legislative leaders in Washington, D.C. The 2012 Farm Bill was topic number one for discussion as Detrick and his colleagues met with Oklahoma's Congressional delegation.
Detrick said his group was not afraid to voice its concerns that livestock producers were being overlooked in the process. He said Oklahoma's representatives were very supportive.
"One of the things we have really been concerned about," Detrick said, is that "we do not expect to see a livestock title in the next farm bill. We don't want our livestock producers left out. They talk about crop insurance for our crop producers, but our livestock producers kind of get the short end of the stick on protection for disasters if that's all left out.
"So, one of our big pushes was, and we found a sympathetic ear with the chairman of the House ag committee and our Congressman Frank Lucas. Chairman Lucas is himself a graze out wheat producer and so he understands and agrees with our concerns. But I do know that he is going to take steps to try to continue to have some livestock disaster programs.
"One of the things we have as graze out livestock producers is we've had direct payments to help us out, but those, by all practical purposes, are going away so we've got to find something there to help our graze out producers and beef producers across the state."
Detrick said his group knows writing a good farm bill is not enough. Getting it passed through both houses of Congress and signed by the president can be a bigger battle. And he said time is running short.
"We need a farm bill now. And we need to get the thing passed so that when we put out our new crops we know what we are putting our new crops out under, which programs. There's a strong chance that won't happen. There are some opponents to a farm bill, some people who would like to cut it until it amounts to hardly anything at all."
Detrick said what gives him hope is the fact that both the Senate and House Ag committees are mostly bipartisan and truly seem engaged in the process.
"Plan A would be to get a farm bill passed now. Plan B would be to get an extension of our 2008 farm bill, but still get a farm bill passed as quickly as possible.
"Our expectations are that come November and December things are going to get hot and heavy and we're probably really going to have to buckle down and get letters written, maybe go help do some lobbying and work hard to try and get a farm bill done."
You can hear more of Ron Hays' interview with Terry Detrick by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below. Ron and Terry talk more about the farm bill and how mounting regulations from government agencies threaten smaller farmers and ranchers.
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