Farm Leaders Still Hopeful for Farm Bill

Despite the impeding deadline and despite months of bureaucratic delays, some farm leaders and farm officials are still hopeful that a new farm bill can be passed by Congress and signed into law before the current bill expires.

For the past several months, the 2012 Farm Bill has dominated rural news. Despite abundant pro-agricultural rhetoric from both Democrats and Republicans and despite a devastating drought that is crippling production from California to Ohio, Congress has failed to pass a unified farm bill and, with only eight legislative days left before the current bill expires, it is increasingly unlikely that they will do so.

Some farm leaders, however, are still hopeful that an agreement can be reached. House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas, for example, has promised that his main focus for the next several weeks will be the farm bill and he reiterated to farmers that it is still theoretically possible to pass a new farm bill before the September 30 expiration.

Some farm advocacy groups are pinning their hopes to lobbying efforts. While Congress may still be in recess, legislators will be back in their home districts preparing for the 2012 election and meeting with constituents. Farmers hope that putting pressure on these legislators will remind them of the importance of rural voters to their upcoming reelection campaigns.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer