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AFBF delegates keep nutrition and farm programs together

At their annual meeting in Phoenix, American Farm Bureau delegates have voted to keep nutrition and farm programs together in the next farm bill.

During the group’s policy session Tuesday, Alabama Farm Bureau president Jimmy Parnell proposed changing long-standing Farm Bureau policy tying nutrition and farm programs together.

“I’m not saying split these. I’m just saying remove this language, which I think would create barriers for negotiating a deal, if that’s what it takes to pass a farm bill that protects agriculture,” Parnell said.

Missouri Farm Bureau president Blake Hurst argued against that proposal.

“It’s necessary to keep them together to have a chance to pass it in the Senate, which is what we learned four years ago—and what we will find again,” said Hurst.

Jeff Kirwin, a voting delegate from Illinois, agreed with Hurst.

“In the 114th Congress, only 34 Congressional districts out of 435 were more than 50 percent rural,” Kirwin said. “It’s apparent that we need the engagement of urban legislators to help continue building any farm programs in the future.”

Delegates voted against the proposal and to keep nutrition and farm programs together in the next farm bill.

AUDIO: Excerpt from AFBF policy meeting–discussion on keeping nutrition and farm programs together in the next farm bill

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