(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.