Tag: Farm Bill

MDFB President Lobbies for Swift Passage of the 2023 Farm Bill

MDFB President Lobbies for Swift Passage of the 2023 Farm Bill

Maryland Farm Bureau President Wayne Stafford traveled to Washington DC last week to lobby for swift passage of the 2023 Farm Bill. He met with Maryland Senators, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Representatives Andy Harris (1st district) and David Trone (6th district). Rep. Harris is Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development Food and Drug Administration. 


His lobby visits to Capitol Hill took place during the annual American Farm Bureau Council of Presidents meeting that took place July 12 and 13. State Farm Bureau Presidents from across the nation heard from USDA Undersecretary for Trade Alexis Taylor, USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Robert Bonnie and House Majority Leader, Steve Scalise.


The farm bill impacts all Americans – from food availability and nutrition to jobs and the environment. It is the most significant legislation for farmers and ranchers, protecting their livelihoods and ensuring a safe, nutritious food supply. The farm bill is reauthorized every five years, and the current farm bill is set to expire on September 30, 2023. 


President Stafford told Members of Congress that failing to pass a new farm bill would have a serious impact on farming and food security in Maryland and across the United States. He told elective officials that it is essential for Congress to prioritize passage of a new farm bill this year.


Farm Bureau’s overarching priorities include:

·      Continuing current farm bill program funding.

·      Maintaining a unified farm bill the includes nutrition programs and farm programs together.

·      Prioritizing risk management tools that include federal crop insurance and commodity programs.

·      Ensuring adequate USDA staffing and resources to provide technical assistance. 


Other issued raised by President Stafford during his Congressional visits included the importance of an available and reliable farm labor workforce and concerns about the recent Supreme Court decision that allow one state to impose production standards on commodities grown or harvested outside its borders.


Farm Bill for America’s Families

Farm Bill for America’s Families

The Maryland Farm Bureau has joined with twenty national organizations and multiple state agricultural organizations to support prompt passage of the 2023 Farm Bill. The campaign, called “Farm Bill for America’s Families – Sustaining Our Future” is supported by a diverse of group advocates for farmers, food security and nutrition, environment and wildlife.

The purpose of the campaign is to educate and engage a consumer-based audience, including Capitol Hill, about the importance and impact of the farm bill. A recent Morning Consult poll showed that 71% of adults have not seen, read or heard much about the farm bill and 42% have not seen, read or heard anything at all.

The coalition’s advocacy efforts center around three core messages:

RISK MANAGEMENT Managing risk on the farm is critical to keeping food on our tables. We all depend on the success of American agriculture, so it’s important for America’s farmers and ranchers to be supported by strong farm programs as they face weather disasters, high supply costs and inflationary pressures.

NUTRITION PROGRAMS America’s farmers and ranchers supply more than 9 billion meals annually thanks to the farm bill’s nutrition programs which ensure the most vulnerable among us have access to healthy, affordable food.

IMPACT BEYOND THE FARM The farm bill impact extends beyond the farm by protecting our nation’s food supply, providing access to nutrition for low-income families, advancing conservation efforts and spurring innovation through agricultural research.

Organizations wanting to know more about “Farm Bill for America’s Families” or to join the campaign can do so at Farm Bill for America’s Families (farmbillforamericasfamilies.com).

Maryland Farm Bureau Lobbies Congress on 2023 Farm Bill

Maryland Farm Bureau Lobbies Congress on 2023 Farm BILL

Two Maryland Farm Bureau members petitioned Congress for prompt passage of the 2023 Farm Bill during the American Farm Bureau’s Advocacy Fly-In in Washington DC last week. Joining 150 farmers from across the country were Karl Shlagel of Waldorf and Emmy Dallam of Bel Air.

“It’s crucial that lawmakers hear directly from the people who are affected by farm policy,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “America’s farmers and ranchers are dedicated to growing the food, fuel and fiber families across the nation rely on. We know how important the farm bill is to maintaining a secure and sustainable food supply. I’m confident the personal stories shared by our members will help inspire lawmakers to support and swiftly pass a new farm bill.”

Attendees were informed there are 260 members – more than half of Congress – who have never worked on a farm bill, making personal stories of impact even more important. Farm Bureau members also discussed other pressing issues facing agriculture, including the need for Congress to address agricultural labor reform.

Agriculture Committee leaders spoke before the group fanned out across Capitol Hill. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Penn.) and Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.) addressed the group. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott (D-Ga.) sent a video message. They discussed the challenges they’ll face in getting the farm bill passed this year and urged attendees to speak with as many elected leaders as they can, both in Washington and when members of Congress return home. They stressed the value of personal connections and stories of direct impact, including through the Advocacy Fly-In.

Shlagel and Dallam visited the offices of their Maryland representative and both Maryland senators to tell their farm story and relay the urgency of passing a farm bill this year. They stressed the importance of the farm bill safety net and conservation programs to Maryland agriculture and talked about the need for a reliable agricultural workforce.

Maryland Farm Bureau Takes Farm Message to Capitol Hill

Presidents Leadership Summit attendees converge on our Nation’s Capital to discuss important ag issues

The influence of Maryland Farm Bureau was on full display when County Farm Bureau presidents and Maryland Farm Bureau board members took the farm message to Capitol Hill in late September. Visits with Maryland representatives and senators took place during the two-day County Presidents Leadership Summit that was based out of American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) headquarters in Washington D.C. 

After being briefed by AFBF policy specialists on the current status of issues, the group split up and headed to Capitol Hill to deliver the farm message to six Maryland representatives. Some of the meetings were in-person, some were with staff specialists, and one was virtual — illustrating that Congress has not yet returned to its pre-COVID routine. The next morning, the entire group heard from and was able to ask questions of both Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen at the Capitol Visitors Center. 

The issues that were discussed with elected officials, included:

  • Adequate funding for and prompt passage of the 2023 Farm Bill.
  • The need for tax code certainty in the face of expiring small business tax relief.
  • The importance of expanding high-speed broadband service to all areas of Maryland.
  • The negative impact that inflation and rising input costs are having on farm businesses. 

Personal stories shared by MDFB members drove home the importance of Congress dealing with these issues in a prompt and meaningful way. 

The lobby trip to Washington to meet members of Congress on their turf is only one of the many ways that MDFB works to influence national policy to help Maryland agriculture. The organization also maintains regular contact with Congressional offices, organizes in-district meetings and farm tours for elected officials, submits comments to regulatory agencies, and coordinates individual grassroots advocacy for maximum impact.

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