“We’ve got a deadline when this current Farm Bill expires and that’s September 30, 2023.”
That date seems like a long way away for some, but not for House Ag Committee Ranking Member GT Thompson, quoted above, or fellow Ag Committee Republican Jim Baird from Indiana. They both would like to see the Farm Bill planning process move faster.
In the meantime, they continue to listen to farmers and ag groups about what’s important for the next Farm Bill. A priority for Baird is making sure there’s appropriate investment in research and technology with our land-grant universities like Purdue.
“The real biotechnology and research that has brought us to this to this point in productivity, the improvements we’ve made… I really think that we need to invest in those kinds of projects, research and development, to help agriculture really advance and move forward.”
Jason Henderson, Director of Purdue Extension, agrees that agriculture’s history of growth has come from technology and innovation.
“The basic research of that is done in the universities, and then it’s taken from inside the labs, probably on campus, then it’s put out into the farms that we have at universities and the experiment stations all across the state of Indiana but also across the U.S. at our sister institutions, and then it’s put on the farm through test plots or various different things and engaging with farmers. That network in innovation is what has allowed U.S. agriculture and agriculture in Indiana to grow and to flourish.”
Another reason to make sure the appropriate funding is there can be tied to a very recent example.
“We’ve just recently gone through another avian flu situation in southern Indiana, and for us having research and extension educators on the ground and helping out with our commodity producers allows us to handle those situations without writing a grant and asking for funding, which takes a while. We’re right there, ready to go, day one.”
In addition to funding for research, Baird continues to hear from farmers that risk management through crop insurance needs to remain a priority for the 2023 Farm Bill.