MORGAN, Minn. – Today, Rep. G.T. Thompson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, hosted a Farm Bill Listening Session at Farmfest.
The Farm Bill covers a variety of programs and touches every part of the country through its farm and food spending. The bill funds crop insurance, conservation programs, rural development and nutrition programs. It is updated every five years and the current bill expires on Sept. 30.
Thompson has held 55 listening sessions across the country to gain farmer input on the 2023 Farm Bill.
Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Gary Wertish talked about the importance of a competition title in the Farm Bill during the listening session.
“The concentration in the marketplace hits agriculture the hardest. We can’t keep raising more and selling it for less,” Wertish said. “Rural communities are struggling, with the farmer’s share of the food dollar dropping from 50 cents in the 1950s to just 14 cents today. The new Farm Bill has the opportunity to not only be a safety net for farmers, but also to provide a launch pad for rural America to grow and prosper by increasing competition and investing in rural development.”
MFU leadership and members have been speaking with members of the state’s federal delegation throughout Farmfest about the importance of an on-time, comprehensive Farm Bill that promotes security for farmers, addresses hunger and contributes to rural economic vitality. MFU leaders have also been talking about Fairness for Farmers, a campaign launched to raise awareness about the need to increase market transparency and competition in the marketplace.
Farmers Union priorities in the farm bill include:
- Increasing enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act.
- Supporting local and regional food systems that increase competition and resilience in the food system.
- Reinstating mandatory Country of Origin Labeling.
- Increasing loan rates and other price-based triggers to reflect higher commodity prices and higher input costs.
- Strengthening the Dairy Margin Coverage program.
View the list of Farmers Union Farm Bill priorities here.
Farmfest continues through Thursday. Find the schedule of events here.
About Minnesota Farmers Union
Minnesota Farmers Union works to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. MFU is a nonprofit membership-based organization. Membership is open to everyone. Learn more and join at mfu.org, and follow MFU on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.