At farm bill listening session, local residents talk about agriculture, nutrition priorities
Dozens of people showed up to a listening session Friday to provide input on agriculture and nutrition programs included in the upcoming renewal of the federal farm bill.
The farm bill is renewed every five years, usually on a bipartisan basis. It includes not only programs directly impacting farmers like seasonal migrant workers and certain crop subsidies, but also nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits.
Eric Ooms was one of a few dairy farmers who spoke. He pointed to the value of funding for programs like EQIP that help him to lessen the environmental impact of his operation. He also noted the importance of SNAP and making sure local dairy flows into federally subsidized school lunch programs.
“Conservation program for my farm, my money, the EQIP program is the best thing that Congress does,” Ooms said. “It requires sweat equity from us and cash from the federal government. Last, continue your push on school milk.”
The listening session was facilitated by Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-19). Also in attendance were House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-WI), and Rep. Nick Langworthy (R-23). Several state lawmakers also attended.
The current farm bill legislation is set to expire at the end of September.