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(GREENCASTLE, Ind.) – Three members of Indiana’s congressional delegation are getting a head

start on the next farm bill.

The current farm bill doesn’t run out for two more years, but Republicans Jim Baird, Victoria

Spartz and Greg Pence held a town hall this week with Indiana farmers at the State Fair. Baird

notes the bill is closer to its end than its beginning. And he says the pandemic has brought some

issues to light, and created some new ones.

Baird, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee, says the pandemic revealed weaknesses

in farmers’ supply chain. He says farmers took losses when outbreaks at processing plants kept

them from delivering their goods. He praises the Agriculture Department’s food box program, which

both got meals to people in need and gave farmers a safety net, and says Congress should look

at ways to apply those lessons elsewhere.

As always, Baird says crop insurance will be a key part of the bill. And he says the discussions

will also likely include incentives to farmers to use cover crops to soak up carbon dioxide as part

of the effort to slow or reverse climate change.