|Farm Bill, other ag issues on OFBF’s agenda|
|Monday, April 29, 2013 10:42 PM|
COLUMBUS – As Ohio farmers work to get crops planted, Farm Bureau is working on their behalf in Washington, D.C. according to Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) president Steve Hirsch.
“We’re trying to get crops in just as momentum is building for the farm bill. Farm Bureau makes it possible to take care of both important jobs at the same time,” Hirsch said.
Senate and House agriculture committees are expected to move on the long-delayed farm bill in the near future. They’ll consider some options submitted recently by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
The Farm Bureau proposal is designed to be financially responsible, provide equity across crop sectors and help farmers deal with weather and market risks.
“Farmers know there’s a limited amount of money to go around so we want it used in the best possible way,” Hirsch said of the AFBF proposal.
AFBF policy supports strengthening crop insurance and offering farmers a choice of program options to complete their “safety net.” In addition, AFBF supports providing programs that encourage farmers to follow market signals rather than make planting decisions based on government payments.
Farm Bureau is working on other federal farm priorities as well, including immigration, with the goal being a legal and stable workforce for agriculture. OFBF also is attempting to lessen the impact of sequestration cuts on farm programs, helping lawmakers understand farmers’ interests within the discussion over tax reform and advising the Food and Drug Administration about Ohio’s concerns with proposed fresh produce safety rules.
Farm families have a lot riding on how the farm bill and other issues are resolved, said Hirsch, adding “This is exactly why Farm Bureau is necessary.”
According to Hirsch, “A lot of Farm Bureau members spent part of the winter visiting or calling lawmakers to let them know what we think. Now, while we’re in the fields, our staff is following through on that conversation. It’s how Farm Bureau gets things done.”
Hirsch encouraged Farm Bureau members to learn more about or offer suggestions on the organization’s efforts by visiting ofbf.org or communicating with their county Farm Bureau.
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