Florida Cattlemen’s Association Gives Farm Bill Input

Randall Weiseman Farm Bill, Florida

Jim Handley

By Jaci Schreckengost

The foot-and-mouth disease vaccine bank is one item needed in the 2018 farm bill, according to Dusty Holley and Jim Handley of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association.

“Our industry is very susceptible to a huge, devastating problem if we don’t think ahead and buy this insurance in advance,” said Handley, executive vice president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association. He said devastating agricultural issues can be caused by things such as citrus greening or screwworm.

Both Handley and Holley were in attendance and spoke at the farm bill listening session in Gainesville, Florida, on June 24. The listening session, called “The Next Farm Bill, Conversations in the Field,” was held to help create the 2018 farm bill, based on farmers’ thoughts and concerns.

While speaking, Holley, field services director at Florida Cattlemen’s Association, mentioned that programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Livestock Forage Disaster Program have been beneficial to the cattle industry.

Holley said not much is needed from the farm bill for the cattle industry. However, he did ask the administration to avoid burdensome regulations that can be harmful to the industry.

“Sometimes we need a little bit of help, but generally we can move on pretty good,” Holley said about the cattle industry. He added that the industry just wants to continue creating a safe food supply, while protecting the environment at the same time.

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