Federal lawmakers convene in Topeka to discuss future of farm bill

Capitol Bureau

Federal lawmakers are expected to continue their work on the farm bill once they return to D.C. next month. 

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture visited the Sunflower State Wednesday to hear from Kansas farmers and what their concerns are with the farm bill. 

During his visit, Secretary Sonny Perdue took part in a panel discussion with U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran at River Creek Farms outside Manhattan.

“It was a great opportunity to hear these things from our national leaders,” said Ron Wilson, the President of the Riley County Farm Bureau. 

One of the main topics brought up in the panel discussion was the farm bill and what the holdup is getting it passed. 

“Farming is tough enough. There is enough risk in farming without knowing what farm programs you’ve got to deal with,” explained Sec. Perdue. 

Earlier this month, the farm bill failed on the House floor. The bill includes a number of topics not relating to the agriculture industry at all. One stumbling block for lawmakers had to do with the food stamp portion and implementing work requirements for able-bodied adults in order to receive food stamps. 

“The whole issue is in regards to the details of that. Who is able-bodied, who isn’t, what’s the age group?” explained Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas. 

Roberts added there is one topic he wants to see addressed in the final version of the bill. 

“We have to have crop insurance. There are amendments that are counter productive to that, we’ll defeat those amendments and crop insurance will be just fine,” explained Roberts. 

The current farm bill expires at the end of September.

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