Farm Bill Update: GT Thompson releases a new roadmap; how lawmakers hope to tackle laws

In just 10 days, the new Farm Bill is set to hit committee, marking the first major action of the long overdue legislation. In preparation, House Ag Committee Chair GT Thompson has released an outline of his plan, spanning more than 30 pages.

It is a title-by-title roadmap, spelling out each area the majority of the House Ag Committee is focusing on. The actual text of the bill has not been released. In a letter, Thompson says his plan works to align the Farm Safety Net with the needs of producers. He also notes it reflects the narrow margins of the current Congress.

The dairy industry will be getting attention under the plan, including the restoration of the “higher of” Class 1 mover formula. Thompson’s plan also includes action around plan cost studies, and it is a move the National Milk Producers Federation applauds.

The Federation’s president released a statement, saying, “We also are grateful for the inclusion of language to require mandatory manufacturing plant cost studies to help inform future discussions on make allowances, another critical component of the Federal Milk Marketing Order System,” said Gregg Doud.

Livestock groups are hoping the new legislation will address concerns about California’s highly controversial Proposition 12. Chelsea Good with the Livestock Marketing Association says Prop 12 has touched all segments of the livestock industry and calls it a slippery slope. She is hoping to see lawmakers require producers to only follow laws applicable in their state, meaning a pork producer outside of California will not have to follow the state’s rules for the meat to be sold in the state. Right now, California’s law requires all pork sold in the state to be raised under their standards.