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AFBF Young Farmer and Rancher Chair Stresses Need for Farm Bill

Chad Smith

Associate News Service Editor, NAFB

photo credit: AFBF photo by Philip Gerlach

An American Farm Bureau Federation young farmer testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee’s subcommittee on commodities, risk management and trade. Chad Smith has more on the discussion centered around the farm bill.

Smith: Kevin Lussier, Chair of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Rancher Committee, recently gave testimony before the Senate Agriculture Committee. Lussier says he spoke about the challenges facing young farmers and ranchers.
Lussier: We talked about the importance of passing a bipartisan farm bill and all that comes with that, Title One programs in the farm safety net, as well as highlighting the availability of capital for young farmers and ranchers to be able to get started in the agriculture industry.
Smith: He says it is critical for farmers and ranchers to tell their story to elected officials.
Lussier: When you can get up there and say, for example, the Dairy Margin Coverage Program and what that means to my farm, I think it really gives the senators or congressional members a great example of what these programs actually do, because I think they see them as a policy. They don't necessarily see how it affects Kevin Lussier and his family farm.
Smith: That’s why it’s important that Congress get a farm bill passed this year. Lussier says he got involved in advocating for agriculture after approaching state Farm Bureau members about his challenges.
Lussier: They let me know that I'm not alone. There are young farmers and ranchers across this country that are dealing with the same issues. And it allowed me to learn and be trained on how to use my voice and be an advocate for agriculture, especially when it comes to passing a farm bill like this, and a dire need of it. It's critical that we use our voice and tell our story.
Smith: Farmers and ranchers of any age can get involved at fb.org/advocacy. Chad Smith, Washington.