Kentucky Farm Bureau President Mark Haney and several other officials from within the organization visited Johnson County Thursday to meet with local agents and representatives and to discuss the status of the company at the Johnson County Extension Office.
During the meeting, Haney introduced several members of the organization and presented local agents with updates on Farm Bill legislation changes for which the company is lobbying, projecting a 65 percentchance of proposed changes being passed within this year’s lame duck session of the General Assembly.
“Hopefully, we can get that across the line,” Haney said. “You hear a lot about the farm bill, for months, and the reason is it’s the most important piece of legislation for all of rural America, it really is. It’s not just how we maintain the crops and the safety net for the crops and how we get crop insurance – it’s much, much more than that.
“The farm bill is the way that we grow the food for our nation, it’s the way that we feed the poor that may need extra help sometimes, the SNAP program … is done through the farm bill,” Haney continued. “It is the way that we develop a market for the food that we grow – it’s through the farm bill. All that food that has to be produced to feed our nation and other nations is governed through the farm bill. The way that we develop economic development across all of the United States, in infrastructure, in conservation, the way we conserve our natural resources, the way we conserve our water, protect our water, all of that is in the farm bill.”
Haney continued by saying that the farm bill also governed funding for land grant universities and resource research programs.
“It becomes so important,” Haney said. “If you live in the United States and you eat, the farm bill is important to you. So, if we don’t get that piece of legislation done and we have to start extending it … it becomes mired in political arenas throughout the months.”
According to Haney, the proposed legislative changes include provisions that would change the way synthetic meats are labeled in stores, among other changes, including changes to the SNAP program which might affect who receives benefits, how much those individuals receive in benefits and more, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
The USDA said that the proposed changes to the Farm Bill seek to, as it relates to the SNAP program, “support work as the pathway to self-sufficiency, well-being, and economic mobility for individuals and families receiving supplemental nutrition assistance,” and “strengthen the integrity and efficiency of food and nutrition programs to better serve our participants and protect American taxpayers by reducing waste, fraud and abuse through shared data, innovation, and technology modernization,” by promoting, “state and local innovations in training, case management, and program design that promote self-sufficiency and achieve long-term, stability in employment.” For more information, visit, www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2018-farm-bill-and-legislative-principles.pdf.