Farm Bill: With Clock Ticking Proposals Begin to Surface

Farm Bill ImpactAs we have been discussing for months, the push for deficit reduction is creating more of an immediacy to adopting a Farm Bill sooner rather than later.  And, with the deadline for policy recommendations from authorizing Committees to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSCDR) now under two weeks away, farm policy proposals are beginning to surface.  The JSCDR must generate at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over 10 years this fall.

Between $10 and $50 billion of budget savings are targeted from the Farm Bill.

That Dog Won’t Hunt!

It is startling given the current political and budget-cutting environment in Congress that the farm policy proposals call for “slightly less of the same” or “regurgitate old policies dubbed something new.” Clearly these proposals will not sell in this Congress.

What’s more important, members of Congress, including some of those serving on the JSCDR, are equally unimpressed about the proposals surfacing.

To be adopted in the current political and budget-cutting environment farm policy proposals need to be more forward thinking as we are at a time of great opportunity for U.S. agriculture and our food and fiber systems.

With strategic investments that allow agriculture to respond effectively to rising consumer demands for healthier foods, the industry can continue to thrive economically AND provide practical solutions to other issues plaguing our country. Among these issues is obesity which contributes to overall rising healthcare costs. These investments do not necessarily have to be expensive to see a dramatic impact. Rather than shifting federal funding around regurgitated and slightly different farm policies, federal budget dollars should be leveraged to create risk management programs for production agriculture and increase the availability of nutritious products in the market.

From the Business Side…

Agricultural businesses need to push for legislative reforms that enable them to survive and thrive, which subsequently keeps more people employed. They need to educate policy makers as to the reality of today’s agricultural business environment and how it differs from decades ago when the current policies were first ratified.

Here are links to some farm bill proposals surfacing in Washington:

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Cansler Consulting is an experienced lobbying firm in budgeting, agriculture, rural healthcare, and energy policies and through our Congressional relationships we can help you influence the policy makers on Capitol Hill. You can contact us at info@canslerconsulting.com or at (202) 220-3150.

Tim Cansler
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