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Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice

With the Farm Bill set to expire on Sept. 30, the House Committee on Agriculture has begun to draft the multi-year bill after numerous listening sessions and requests from agriculture workers across the nation. During an August trip to Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson explained that the Farm Bill is behind schedule and will likely require an extension.

“The Senate is going to need to finish their work. Part of it is competition for floor time,” Thompson said.

Thompson plans to release his Farm Bill draft a week before the committee markup—wherein the bill will be considered in session. House leaders will debate the legislation on the floor for a week, offering amendments and voting on any changes.

Current titles in the Farm Bill include Commodities, Conservation, Nutrition, Credit, Rural Development, Research, Forestry, Energy, Horticulture, and Crop Insurance. Thompson discussed the likelihood of extending the 2018 Farm Bill as legislators craft a new bill with special chapters for SNAP, farm credit, and other proposed protections.

Central Valley Congressman David Valadao hosted Chairman Thompson as well as other members of the House Committee on Agriculture at the 2023 World Ag Expo in Tulare. At a listening session, Central Valley farmers and ranchers shared their priorities for the new Farm Bill such as crop insurance for the valley’s diverse commodities and specialty crops.

As a regional lead for the Farm Bill, Valadao detailed his priorities in an Op-Ed piece, explaining that the bill should include a developed crop insurance program as well as a safety net for the agriculture industry for extreme weather events.

“I’m working closely with Chairman Thompson to ensure the Farm Bill supports Central Valley agriculture producers,” Valadao said. “Some of my priorities are strengthening crop insurance, supporting specialty crop growers, making improvements to REAP, investing in agricultural research services, and making it easier for local growers to qualify for disaster relief programs.”

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