Today’s Topic: Congress and the next farm bill

By on January 3, 2012

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

Southern Farm Network logoThis week, Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss one of the big stories for agriculture in 2012 – Congress’ work on the next farm bill.

Troxler says the farm bill is the biggest statement Congress makes about agricultural policy in the United States.

There was a chance Congress wouldn’t have to put together a farm bill for 2012. The farm bill would have been put into deficit-reduction legislation that the bipartisan super committee was trying to agree on last fall. The proposal would have saved taxpayers $23 billion over 10 years and would have done away with farm subsidies. When the super committee failed, that version of the farm bill went with it.

Now, Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow of Michigan would like for that proposal to be the framework for the new farm bill. Public hearings are scheduled to begin soon.

The farm bill is something state agriculture departments across the country will be watching closely this year. In September, Commissioner Troxler and his counterparts across the country voted to focus their support on certain priorities for the farm bill. These include the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, funding for the USDA Market Access Program, and consolidation of some federal programs within the Conservation Title and Plant Pest & Disease Management funding.

Click below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss this topic.

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Southern Farm Network is a division of Curtis Media Group.

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