The Rochester Post Bulletin's op-ed page has published Congressman Tim Walz' column urging House passage of the Farm Bill. With drought affecting crops nationwide, approval of the bi-partisan package grows more urgent.
Walz writes in America needs a farm bill — and not just for farmers:
In southern Minnesota, farmers play a vital role in producing food and other goods that we rely on every day and are the backbone of our local economy. When farmers do well, local businesses do well. With the current farm bill set to expire at the end of September, we owe it to our farmers, ranchers, and those that rely on agricultural production to enact a new farm bill that invests in the future of rural America.
And we are very close to doing so. The new Farm Bill is written and awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, as of this writing, House leadership has refused to bring the bill forward. Instead, they say they will put it off until after the election and maybe pass something in late November or December.
He goes on to highlight the language he added after consulting with producers and rural development experts in the district:
• Make it easier for our youth to take up farming and ranching operations and agriculture entrepreneurship.
• Increase energy access in rural America; improving efficiency and reducing input costs for farmers and small businesses.
• Ensure farmers have the flexibility to grow a wide array of crops without penalty or fear of losing their insurance.
• Save taxpayer dollars, conserve critical wildlife and hunting habitats, while still allowing farmers to manage their lands as they see fit.
• Ensure farmers have a voice in shipping costs by directing the Secretary of Agriculture, on behalf of the interests of agriculture and rural America, to participate in the activities of the Surface Transportation Board.
Read the whoile thing at the Post Bulletin.
Photo: Congressman Tim Walz.