Robert Redding, an attorney representing agriculture groups in Washington, D.C., recently gave a federal regulation update presentation during the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Georgia. His talk included the topic of the upcoming farm bill.
Farm bill leaders, House Ag Chairman Mike Conaway and Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts, wanted to have the bill finished by the end of 2017. But farmers currently are still without a farm bill. Redding said that although the desired deadline was not met, Conaway is hoping to get the bill passed in the first quarter this year if possible.
Redding said an official deadline for the farm bill is fuzzy right now. “They’ve gotten extensions with farm bills in the past, but we’re hoping that we won’t have to see that,” he said.
Although the farm bill has been delayed, Redding talked highly of the bill’s leaders, saying he was “very proud” of Conaway and Roberts. Redding added that they work well together and are dedicated to the farm bill’s completion. “Chairman Roberts and Chairman Conaway talk, their staffs work, they’re interested in being a team to make this happen,” he said.
Redding is aware that there are many kinks within the 2014 farm bill that need to be worked out for the 2018 version. The House legislators working on the bill are aware of what needs to be changed, too, thanks to their nationwide tour where the committee held listening sessions to hear what the farmers wanted out of the 2018 farm bill. You can listen to Florida’s listening session here.
Hear more from Redding: