Follow-up on Farm Bill Discussion Group Meetings

Congressman James Comer Addresses Latest KFB Farm Bill Discussion Meeting

James Comer (Right) speaks about the Farm Bill with Mark Haney (Center) and Eddie Melton (Left)

The latest Farm Bill Discussion Group meeting was held in Hopkinsville in front of a large crowd to hear from Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) leadership, discussion group committee leads and Congressman James Comer, a member of the House Agriculture Committee and the state’s newest House member from the state’s 1st Congressional District.

Comer told the gathering that with fewer legislators having no agricultural back ground, it is important that all ag commodity groups stick together.

“One of the things that must happen in order to pass the Farm Bill is all the commodity groups are going to have to work together,” he said. “When we look at bills like the Farm Bill with a lot of expenditures, we have to try to get all we can get to benefit American agriculture and family farmers. But, at the end of the day, we’re going to have to compromise and prioritize.”

Late last year KFB President Mark Haney announced the formation of the Farm Bill Discussion Group to initiate discussions with agriculture officials, commodity organization leaders and other related stakeholders across the state concerning the reauthorization of the Farm Bill.

Mark Haney discusses about the Farm Bill

This latest event is but one in a series of meetings that have been held in various locations to gather information which will be used to ultimately present a cohesive message to lawmakers informing them of where Kentucky agriculture stands on issues overseen by the farm legislation.

During the meeting, reports were given by individual committees that were initially created within the whole group to address specific titles of the Farm Bill.

Comer said he learned a lot from hearing from each of these groups and from being a part of the over-all discussion.

“This (meeting) has been very helpful to me and I appreciate Farm Bureau hosting this,” he said. “The people that are here are the people on the front lines who are farming every day. They are keeping up with the changes (in agriculture) so I would much rather get advice from grassroots Farm Bureau members than from bureaucrats in Washington.”

Comer pointed out that of the 54 new members of Congress who came to Washington this year, he is the only farmer.

“You would be shocked as to how few members of Congress know anything about agriculture,” he said. “As a farmer and former Commissioner of Agriculture, I want to educate members of Congress on the importance of the Farm Bill, the importance of agriculture and helping our farm families.”

Comer also said the agriculture family is a close-knit group that supports each other.

“That support is going to be needed more than ever because it’s going to be very difficult to pass a Farm Bill,” he said. “I look forward to working with Farm Bureau and the ag commodity groups in Kentucky to ensure that we pass a Farm Bill and it’s beneficial to Kentucky farm families.”

Discussion groups will continue work to ultimately create a list of recommendations to be given to Kentucky’s Congressional delegation.

For more information about the Farm Bill, visit the web page, https://www.kyfb.com/federation/commodities/2018-farm-bill.