Taking a different approach to the nutrition title

A past president of both the national corn and soybean associations says it’s time for agriculture to change its image when it comes to how it approaches the nutrition programs.

Indiana farmer Alan Kemper says members of the ag industry need to work alongside the people who use SNAP.  “Get them in your think tank, get them in your listening sessions,” he says.  “Build coalitions.”

Indiana Farm Bureau president Randy Kron says it isn’t in agriculture’s best interest to remove the nutrition title from the farm bill debate.  Kron says his perspective changed after meeting with Representative Andre Carson, who represents Indianapolis.  “How much agriculture does he have in his district,” he says.  “Very little.  If you think about that – what’s his driver to support the farm bill?  It’s the nutrition side.  When I met with him – there was a lot of discussion about food deserts.”

He says without the nutrition program it is difficult to get support from urban legislators.  “If you drive a wedge between those two, passing a farm bill, in my view point, is almost impossible,” he says.  “I would actually say it’s impossible.  I don’t see how you get the numbers.”

Several farmers and ag industry representatives expressed their support for keeping the nutrition program as part of the Farm Bill during the Indiana Ag Policy Summit on Wednesday.

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