Governor urges Congress to back Farm Bill

TOPEKA — Governor Laura Kelly has sent a letter to the heads of the U.S. Senate and House Agriculture Committees urging them to prioritize Kansas farmers and ranchers in the upcoming Farm Bill. The bill, which is updated every five years, shapes key aspects of US agriculture and food policy. The first discussions have started for the 2023 Farm Bill.

“Considering that our farmers and ranchers feed — and power — the world, there is no state more invested in the Farm Bill than Kansas,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “It is imperative that the next Farm Bill invest in our rural communities to enable Kansas farmers, ranchers and growers to succeed for generations to come.”

In the letter, Governor Kelly argued for increasing regional food sources and investing in technological innovation that will lower food prices in the long term.

“More and more of our farmers are aging into retirement, but they are not being replaced because young people don’t see a future in them or don’t have access to the capital and other resources needed to perpetuate the legacy of their family,” she wrote. . “The next Farm Bill should remove barriers for young and small farms so we can increase regional food sources – which would have the added benefit of fighting food deserts and making our supply chain more competitive. and sustainable.”

Governor Kelly urged the committees to explore solutions to help farmers and ranchers affected by prolonged drought, severe flooding, wildfires and extreme temperatures – and to do so in a way that lowers commodity prices. food.

She wrote: “Instead of imposing burdensome regulations on farmers and ranchers on already thin margins, the next Farm Bill should invest in voluntary conservation programs, drought-tolerant crops like sorghum and cotton, a robust crop insurance and biological and technological innovations that will drive down the cost of regenerative agriculture over the long term.

Stakeholders in Kansas’ farming community will continue to lobby Congress in the months ahead.

Governor Kelly’s letter can be found at https://governor.kansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/2023-Farm-Bill-Letter.pdf.

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