The Annual Congressional Farmer’s briefing Tuesday at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh turned into a discussion about what Washington can do for farmers.
NC 4th District Congressman David Price says its not all gloom and doom. “Our part of NC is one of the few places in the country that has more farmers now than it did ten years ago.”
Doug O’Brien, USDA Deputy Undersecretary, says the overall farming picture is also looking good. “Last year we had record farm income of more than $100 billion, and record farm exports over $137 billion.”
May of the attendees wanted to know about the prospects of a new Farm Bill. O’Brien says that’s in the works. “Congress needs to focus on a good farm safety net and makes sure that communities take advantage of opportunities in rural America.”
Congressman Price says the next Farm Bill may not look like what he had first anticipated. “I expect it now to be more tied to actual market cycles, and there will probably be some conservation incentives for smaller operators.” And there are still farmers recovering from Mother’s Nature’s fury. Rep. Price says, “There is a real effort required each time we have a disaster to make sure farmers get what they need.”
Each year farmers come and learn more about what their government is hoping to do for them, and leave hoping their prayers for a more bountiful crop are answered.
I’m Gurnal Scott.