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House Agriculture Committee hosts listening session ahead of 2023 Farm Bill rewrite

Posted at 5:51 PM, Mar 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 00:30:17-04

WACO, Texas — Congressman Pete Sessions and a few of the House Agriculture Committee Members hosted a listening session in Waco on Wednesday — ahead of the 2023 Farm Bill rewrite.

Farmers were encouraged to share their comments, concerns, and what they hope to see a focus on.

Rep. Sessions started the event by telling Texans they were listening and valued what they had to say.

"These members that are here and I'm a part of also, represent ideas and ideals about American agriculture and we take very seriously that what happens in this reauthorization of the farm bill is one that's successful an done that is bipartisan," Sessions said.

"Ag(riculture) is that one thing that while most people think it's only rural, it affects all of us," Texas District 30 Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D) said.

"It is rural, it is urban, it is who we are in this country."

The Committee said they've heard from many farmers already, and the main topics they're being asked to work on include broadening crop insurance, updating title one programs, and adding more conservation programs.

Another important topic brought up by numerous attendees was the lack of young people becoming farmers. With agriculture being such a crucial sector, farmers say making the field more attractive to the next generation has to be a top priority.

"Nearly half of the US farmland is expected to change hands within the upcoming decade," Robinson County Farmer Celina Esekawu said.

"Young farmers are leaving agriculture because they cannot secure land. This farm bill is a pivotal moment to invest in the individuals who will steward agricultural land and grow food into the future."

The Committee is continuing to take comment from farmers on their website. The current Farm Bill is set to expire in September 2023.