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.