Farmers Pressuring Congress on Agricultural Aid

In the midst of one of the worst droughts in recent memory, farmers across the country are criticizing Congress for its inaction this summer and are demanding that congressional leaders speedily pass a new farm bill once they return from their summer recess.

For the past several months, American farmers have been languishing in the grip of one of the worst droughts in more than 50 years. With a dry, warm winter quickly passing into a dry, hot spring and summer, farmers are seeing their crops wither and their profits disappear.

While most members of Congress have addressed the necessity of passing some kind of farm aid, few politicians have been willing to take direct action on the farm bill. Many farmers and farm officials are stunned at the lackadaisical attitude Congress has taken regarding the farm bill and vital agricultural legislation.

With Congress on its five-week August recess, and with members returning to their home districts to speak with constituents, many farmers are hoping to vent their spleens at their political representatives.

According to Representative Leonard Boswell, “Every time I get out there, people keep asking me: ‘What happened to the farm bill? Why don’t we have a farm bill?’” Congressional debates across rural states are also revolving around the farm bill, with incumbents and their challengers each running on competing visions of the 2012 Farm Bill. With President Obama expected to begin a tour of drought stricken states next week, farmers can at least expect more political lip service.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer