Crafting of the 2023 Farm Bill is Ramping UpFri, 21 Jan 2022 13:12:56 CST
The 2018 Farm Bill is set to expire in fiscal year 2023. Each Farm Bill sets policy on everything from farm loans to conservation, school lunches to feral hog control and more. Such a large bill takes much planning, meaning there is already talk about crafting the 2023 farm bill.
Oklahoma Farm Report Director KC Sheperd spoke with Bart Fischer, co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University, about the development of the 2023 Farm Bill. Fischer is a native of southwestern Oklahoma and served as the House Agriculture Committee chief economist under Chairman Frank Lucas during the crafting of the 2014 Farm Bill.
He said many current leaders lack an understanding of rural America, which makes crafting something as complex as the Farm Bill a big challenge.
“There are so many people who know so little about what actually goes into that bill,” Fischer said.
A large slice of the Farm Bill pie is allocated to nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which offers nutrition benefits to low-income individuals and families. According to Fischer, the Biden-Harris administration increased SNAP funding by 25%.
“Our country (already) owes a tremendous amount of money,” Fischer said. “It always seems to happen, when we get into a Farm Bill debate, suddenly everyone wants to talk about reining in spending; it is agriculture and rural America who gets to navigate those stormy waters.”
At a time when there is so much uncertainty coming from inflation and high input costs in addition to always-present factors like poor weather conditions, foreseen uncertainty in the upcoming Farm Bill is incredibly stressful for American producers, Fischer said.
Hit the LISTEN BAR below to hear KC Sheperd and Bart Fischer discuss the 2023 Farm Bill, the federal government’s debt and more.
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