U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and ranking member U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) officially kicked off the first hearing on the 2023 Farm Bill at Michigan State University.
Noting strong bipartisan approval of the current farm bill, Stabenow said she and Boozman intend to continue the tradition as the committee seeks input from producers on needed improvements, in light of the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Our next Farm Bill must address the economic security of our farmers, families, and rural communities by supporting a more resilient and sustainable food supply chain,” Stabenow said in her opening comments.
“We can do more to improve competition and expand opportunities for small, midsized and local producers who grow things at home to prevent shortages and reduce cost spikes when a crisis does occur.”
A total of 16 speakers provided testimony during the hearing, providing a generally positive review of the 2018 farm bill while noting adjustments based on current global markets are needed, including crop insurance provisions, revisions to loan rates and enhanced conservation programming efforts.