Glenn GT Thompson lays out his 2023 Farm Bill priorities
Hearings for the 2023 Farm Bill continue on Capitol Hill. We caught up with the top Republican on the House Ag Committee, GT Thompson, to ask him what his priorities are, and get an update on his home state of Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania is a lot like patches on a quilt - maybe one valley over, a crop is just flourishing with plenty of rain, and then the next valley over is dry conditions where you’re starting to see the corn kind of. In my travels throughout the United States, that’s what I see all over the country. Going forward, number one is to begin to bring more voices to the table for this Farm Bill. We had a great opportunity to do that, did a roundtable listening session. Crop insurance is a primary way of serving the needs of those who grow our food and our fiber. One of the liabilities that farmers have to deal with is the end product of feeding livestock. Methane digesters are a type of technology that we do have. Farm Bill programs, specifically EQIP, could assist with part of those costs. The person who’s doing the digester and would operate it, they’ve been able to take what was a liability and use innovation and technology of agriculture in the form of a methane digester and actually generate electricity. It helps take that liability off the farm and it becomes an asset. It comes as a revenue line for them, and that’s a reflection of American agriculture, science, technology, and innovation. Input costs are the number one issue that farmers across the country are talking about, you know the cost of fertilizer, costs of diesel fuel, and the cost of propane. Those are the things that are really on their mind right now. Most of them are getting record commodity prices, but the problem is their input costs are just as high, and at the end of the day, farming is a business, and it’s the margin that matters. We’ve increased our productivity and American agriculture since the 1940s by 287%, but we know we have the potential to grow it greater.”
We will continue to follow all upcoming ag hearings and let you know where lawmakers stand on getting your needs met with next year’s Farm Bill.