View from the Cab: Farm Bill prep


By: Kent Casson


Hard to believe we are preparing for another Farm Bill. It seems as though we were just discussing the last one with all of its implications and opportunities.


The Illinois Soybean Association has planned a Farm Bill Survey and Listening Session which will inform producers about the organization’s outreach, promotion and legislative efforts. Participants will be asked to help identify questions, concerns and challenges associated with the upcoming bill.


Survey responses will be used to help Illinois Soybean Growers leadership create topical conversation and presentation content for a listening session, which is planned for Tuesday, Dec. 14 available in both in-person and virtual meeting formats. The session will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and lunch will be provided at the Illinois Soybean Association office, 1605 Commerce Parkway in Bloomington. Responses are due Dec. 10.


Some of you may be asking what exactly a Farm Bill is. According to www.sustainableagriculture.net, it is a package of legislation passed once every five years which has an impact on how food is grown, farm livelihood and what types of food is grown. Programs in the bill include beginning farmer training, crop insurance for farmers and food access for low-income families.


As a previous bill comes to a close, it is updated and goes through a lengthy process of being updated and debated by members of Congress, eventually being signed into law by the President. Each bill has its own title and the current one is referred to as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 which was enacted in December 2018 and expires in 2023.


Under President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the original Farm Bills were enacted to keep food prices fair for farmers and consumers, protect the country’s natural resources and to ensure an adequate food supply in the country. The main goals are the same even though the Farm Bill has changed over the years.


The upcoming listening session is just one of many chances farmers will have to learn about the 2023 bill. Keep your eyes open for future meetings down the road or check with your local Farm Bureau for details.


It was nice to see everyone last week at the Greater Peoria Farm Show. The latest in ag was showcased at the nation’s largest indoor farm show inside the Peoria Civic Center. After a year away from meetings and shows, everyone enjoyed visiting. The cinnamon rolls and coffee weren’t bad, either.

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