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One of the most important pieces of legislation when it comes to agriculture is currently being debated and created in Washington.
The farm bill is vital to the nearly 80,000 farms in Ohio supporting the state’s food and agriculture economy, to the tune of over $277 billion annually. The farm bill’s purpose is to protect that investment by keeping Ohio farm families sustainable in a multitude of ways, including risk management and conservation and maintaining the level of goods and services these farms provide to all Americans.
Risk management tools like federal crop insurance and commodity programs are critical and need to be maintained in the new farm bill. From unpredictable weather to unnerving markets, farmers understand the volatilities associated with growing the nation’s food supply, and it’s important that lawmakers do as well.
Conservation programs are equally important in helping farmers protect healthy soils and keep water clean. As more farmers seek to add even more acres to the Conservation Reserve Program, the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, funding in the new farm bill will be required to meet the demand.
As essential as those items are to the farm bill, they only equal about 20% of the overall legislation. The other 80% is in the form of nutrition programs, mainly the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
In reality, this legislation should be titled the farm and food bill, because you can’t have one without the other. Getting that message to Congress, which consists of 48% of members who have never been a part of a farm bill process, will be of utmost importance. Ohio Farm Bureau will be working directly with our state’s congressional delegation in Washington throughout the development of this new farm bill, and I encourage you to do the same. As you do, let them know the significant role this bill plays in providing food security for everyone while supporting the sustainability of farmers and, in turn, the viability of our rural communities.
Adam Sharp is Ohio Farm Bureau executive vice president.
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
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