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Farm bill support has typically come from moderates from both Democrat and Republican parties, but that group has become smaller with recent elections, making a farm bill harder to pass.
Jimmy dodson, NCC chairman, address P.I.E. tour in Corpus Christi.
Safety net benefits consumers too
Dodson says the safety net provided by a farm bill is what keeps production numbers high—the "offset for that extra production" –and what producers need to create an abundance of product that provides stability in prices. He says most Americans take it for granted without realizing the farm bill is what makes low prices possible and provides a good variety of food and fiber products as well.
"When Americans go to the store they expect a wide variety of healthy food products at affordable prices, and the same can be said about fiber products, like a new cotton shirt, dresses and bed sheets. We have a great system going here and we don't want to neglect the system by ignoring helpful legislation that makes it possible," Dodson added.
He says Americans should call their Congressmen and voice support for a new farm bill and stay engaged throughout the process to prevent the loss of farm legislation and a resulting jump in food and fiber prices.
"What many Americans do not realize is that the actual financial portion of the farm bill that goes to producers and into research is actually less than one quarter of one percent of the bill," Dodson said, suggesting that if every federal program were to provide the same level of benefit to consumers, the cost of living would be lower for every American across the board.
"We're not trying to break the bank; in fact, agriculture has cut the baseline for expenditures by about 50 percent, and if everybody else would do that, our national budget could be balanced almost immediately."
Dodson says the National Cotton Council has worked with many legislators in Washington to help drive the farm bill forward and he remains hopeful those efforts will eventually pay off.