When agriculture unites, it’s amazing the challenges that can be overcome. One of the greatest challenges of our time will be meeting the needs of a growing world. Experts say that by 2050 those in production agriculture will need to produce 40% more from existing acres to feed the forecasted population.
This challenge is coming to the forefront during discussions surrounding a new Farm Bill. A farm bill proposal, including a $23 million reduction package over 10 years, was submitted by Agriculture Committee leaders last November. The bill took an unusual route through the Capital, forgoing the normal process of hearings, negotiations and amendments. The reauthorization of the farm bill will expire this September, and the usual process of field hearings and the opportunity for input should resume.
The importance of guiding smart choices regarding the farm bill is at an all-time high, and requires the ag community unite once again to lead discussion at the Capital. In a recent SeedWorld article, John Latham, president of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, spoke about the reasons why he will head to Capital Hill this June to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other seed executives across the nation at ASTA’s 129th Annual Convention and Legislative Conference.
“Right now, times are good and the prices are high, and farmers are doing well,” he said. “My fear is a cutback as well as a pullback of prices could really leave people in bad shape,” he says. “There has to be some sort of safety net for when times are tough. The food supply is critical, not only for the United States, but for the whole world, and the United States leads that. We need to have some sort of safety net, and I hope that comes through in this farm bill.”
In this same article, Leslie Cahill of the American Seed Trade Association says, “There’s never been a more critical time in our history as far as agriculture is concerned. We really need to lock arms and stand together because, if we don’t, there could be a lot of harm and uncertainty ahead for us.”
Cahill recommends that farmers and industry professionals contact members of Congress and work with other agricultural association groups because the farm bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation to pass through Congress. She says, “As we look to bolster the economy, feed a growing population and help maintain national security… we have to have some very honest discussions on exactly what agriculture brings to the table — and that’s quite a bit.”
Please feel free to contact us if we can help you reach out and guide conversations on the Farm Bill.
To those of you involved in and supporting agriculture – thank you for all you do each day to help feed and fuel our world!