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Boening among Texas farmers, ranchers to travel to Washington amid farm bill talks
Agricultural disaster assistance and a workable safety net are on Washington lawmakers’ minds after Texas Farm Bureau leaders recently traveled to the nation’s capital to visit with congressional leaders as they draft farm bill legislation, according to a Nov. 10 Texas Farm Bureau news release.
“The 2012 Farm Bill is critical to the success of agriculture in Texas,” said Russell Boening, who represents several South Texas counties as a Texas Farm Bureau state director. “While lawmakers work to trim ballooning deficits, farmers and ranchers are concerned they will go too far in cutting programs vital to our nation’s food supply.”
Boening was accompanied by the Texas Farm Bureau board of directors, led by President Kenneth Dierschke, Vice President Dewey Hukill, and Secretary-treasurer Billy Bob Brown.
The group of farmers and ranchers from the Lone Star State spent several days visiting offices on Capitol Hill and expressing concerns over epic drought conditions and unfavorable long-term forecasts.
“This dry year is a perfect example of why American farmers need safety net programs like crop insurance,” Boening said. “We also understand we have to take our share of cuts and we are ready to do that.”
Already, the state has lost an estimated $5.2 billion in crop, livestock, and timber damage from drought and wildfires this year.
The Texas Farm Bureau leaders met with key members of the House and Senate agriculture committees as they worked to submit a proposal to the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. That proposal includes $23 billion in agriculture cuts, including the direct payment program.
“We are trying to make the best of a bad situation,” Boening said. “We hope the agricultural leadership in Congress comes up with suitable recommendations for the super committee’s consideration. After visiting with several key players we are cautiously optimistic.”
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