During testimony in today’s Senate Farm Bill hearing, Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow says as the committee is crafting the upcoming farm bill it is important to look beyond the five years encompassed in the 2012 Farm Bill.
National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson says investing in beginning farmers and ranchers is vital to the continued success of agriculture. “As a beginning farmer, the one thing you most certainly don’t have is equity,” he says. “Young farmers are highly leveraged and it’s important that there are programs to take away the extreme variabilities out of the way of their business plan.”
American Farm Bureau Federation president Bob Stallman says it’s vital to prepare young farmers and ranchers for the challenges ahead of them in agriculture. “But the best thing we can do for the future,” Stallman says, “is create a business environment for them that is conducive for them being in the business of agriculture.” He notes that includes watching the regulatory environment to be sure that those restraints aren’t too burdensome.
Ryan Best, National FFA president says for the agriculture industry to continue being successful – it’s important to strengthen support for agricultural education. “We’re not just providing students with data; we’re not just providing students with the overall concept of what agriculture is,” he says. “Agriculture education allows students to dive in and get involved first hand and learn about what agriculture is.” Best says, “We place them on a pathway into a career in agriculture and we see them to that pathway throughout their years of agriculture education.
He added now is an exciting time to be involved in the agriculture industry, especially knowing that we (young people) are a large part of its future.