AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Boozman were in Amarillo on Tuesday, hearing input from local agriculture leaders about what to include in the 2023 Farm Bill.
They hosted a meeting with those agriculture leaders at the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, then shared some of their takeaways.
The funding from the Farm Bill covers important farm programs, conservation efforts, food production, and so much more. It is reauthorized every five years.
Sen. Cruz (R-Texas) said he is in the middle of a three-day statewide agriculture tour, sitting down with farmers and ranchers and listening to their concerns.
“If you’re farming or ranching, you can’t control global commodity prices. They can change on a dime and be outside your control and we don’t want for the strength and security of Texas, the strength and security of our nation, we don’t want farmers and ranchers being driven out of business,” said Cruz. “We don’t want America to be dependent on foreign nations to be able to feed our people.”
According to Cruz, right now Texas farmers and ranchers are exporting much of what they produce.
“That means in addition to crop insurance, trade is critically important, opening up foreign markets for Texas farmers and ranchers and farmers and ranchers across the country,” he continued.
Sen. John Boozman (R-Arkansas) is the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee and is working to draft the 2023 Farm Bill.
“The world is very different now than it was a year and a half ago. We’ve seen this with tremendous inflation. So we’ve got to get those risk management tools, whether it’s crop insurance, or the others up to date,” Boozman said. “And that’s really how we can help our farm community the most is just, to do that is to make sure that so for the next five years, that they’ll have the ability to essentially weather the storm.”
However, it is a vast piece of legislation that likely will not be easy to pass.
“We have a divided Congress so, will there be a battle on it? Almost certainly, because it seems we have a battle on figuring out what time of day it is,” Cruz said. “But I hope and believe we’ll get it done and I think we need to get it done.”
Boozman added, “We do have to work together, Democrats and Republicans, to come up with a product that everybody can live with, that we can all be proud of.”
Cruz and Lubbock will make a similar stop in Lubbock on Wednesday to get input for the Farm Bill there.