As lawmakers hold listening sessions regarding the next Farm Bill, farm groups are gearing up to provide their priorities as well. National Corn Growers Association CEO Jon Doggett says there are a lot of changes to the makeup of Congress, and the farm bill process may not be an easy one, especially, as it seems every time, the debate focuses on SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
“It’s going to be very difficult. We are going to have to work at it, but we were pretty fortunate, in the 18 bill, I think we got a lot done, mostly that was we tinkered around the edges, but the 2012-13 and 14 Farm Bill took a long time, and a big part of that was arguments about SNAP, and it does us no good to just go ahead and fight this to a draw. We need to help feed people in this country. We do it on our farms, we also need to do it in the halls of Washington by making sure that there’s adequate funding for the SNAP program. Those folks have been our friends, we want to keep them our friends because we have a good relationship with one another.”
Additionally, he says many of the House Agriculture Committee members have not been through the farm bill process. Doggett the bill should be written by the Committee’s and not the leadership offices.
“The farm bill process in regular order helps educate. helps drive home the points that we need to have driven home. That’s why we need to go through regular order, that’s why we need to avoid writing these things in the offices of the leaders on both sides of the hill and both sides of the aisle.”
Finally, Titles 1, 2, 3 and 11 are the ones corn growers are expressing interest in.
“Right now it is, we may play in the energy titles a little bit. We’re not going to do anything in horticulture. But you know, those are the important ones, is Title 1, Title 2, and the MAP and FMD title, and then obviously crop insurance. Crop insurance is still the biggest thing that our folks talk to us about.”
Title 1 is Commodities, Title 2 is Conservation, Title 3 is Trade and Title 11 is Crop Insurance.