With the possibility of Congress renewing the Farm Bill in 2023, it is critical that farmers do what they can to ensure the farm programs support American agriculture in the years to come. To help advance this goal, Pinion launched the Farm Program Fairness Coalition, a group of farmers from around the United States working together to ensure that Congress and the USDA create and administer fair rules and programs that work well for family farms.
The coalition recently visited Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and federal agencies to explore ways to improve the functioning of America’s farm programs.
“This was a great opportunity to get Washington D.C. decision makers thinking about how they can make farm programs more efficient, transparent, and beneficial for family-owned farms,” said Brian Kuehl, Pinion’s Director of Government and Public Affairs.
Key improvements discussed for the Farm Bill
The Pinion team met with several government officials including those from the farm service agency, the USDA Rural Development team, and others from Congress.
Some of the following improvements were discussed:
- Streamlining the application process by ensuring the Farm Services Agency accepts digital applications
- Confirming that year-end reviews and audits are targeted and streamlined by asking for the necessary information rather than generating huge volumes of paperwork for farmers
- Ensuring the FSA has the resources to adequately train county offices for better consistency in program administration
- Making sure the adjusted gross income calculations make sense when determining eligibility for farm programs
“Everyone agrees that we need farmer-friendly programs if we are going to meet our food and fiber needs while also expanding conservation and responding to climate change,” added Kuehl. “And we need to do all of this in a way that is transparent, saves taxpayer dollars, and helps family farms by reducing paperwork and streamlining programs.”
The Farm Program Fairness Coalition is planning additional fly-ins to Washington, D.C. in the coming months to keep these topics top-of-mind for lawmakers and to help lay the groundwork for a productive 2023 Farm Bill.
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