IFB presses lawmakers on farm bill

Leaders to Washington mission 'very timely,' with several ag issues on the front burner.

By DeLoss Jahnke

With the August Congressional recess over and legislators back in Washington, Illinois Farm Bureau farmer-leaders will join them this week as part of the Leaders to Washington mission.

This year’s trip comes at a most opportune time, as the farm bill conference committee will hold a public meeting this week.

“Very timely,” said Mark Gebhards, IFB’s executive director of governmental affairs and commodities. “The farm bill is one of about three or four major priorities that we’ll be talking with our delegation about, as well as some other folks that we plan to meet with while we’re in D.C.”

The current farm bill expires at the end of September, and Gebhards remains hopeful that the conference committee can reach an agreement this month.

“We know it’s a heavy lift, and we know that probably the biggest sticking point is the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) reform provisions the House has in there,” he said on the “RFD Today” radio program.

Other important items also loom in the nation’s capital.

First is the Supreme Court nomination, which is expected to dominate attention spans in D.C.

Second, the approaching midterm elections makes farm bill passage even more urgent. “They (lawmakers) are only going to be in until the end of this month,” Gebhards said.

Related: IFB events highlight importance of tradeRead more here.

IFB leadership also plan to discuss trade and the status of the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule during the time in Washington.

“That is far from over, and we have to make sure that folks understand that this rule needs to get rewritten,” Gebhards said of WOTUS.

Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.