July 24, 2023
Brad Bouma, Select Milk Producers, Inc. chairman emeritus, addresses Senator John Cornyn during a roundtable discussion at the FiberMax Center for Discovery, Lubbock, Texas. Shelley E. Huguley
Texas South Plains and Panhandle commodity and industry leaders met with U.S. Senator John Cornyn recently to express their specific needs and priorities for the upcoming farm bill. Cornyn acknowledged there's no "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to the farm bill.
“The cost of production has outpaced the farm bill protection we have," said Jimmy Clark, Southwest Council of Agribusiness executive director as he addressed the Senator. "We certainly need a new farm bill that protects our farmers and ranchers."
Cornyn said his role at the roundtable was to listen. "I'm interested in learning from you what your priorities are, not what Chuck Grassley's priorities in Iowa are, or what Debbie Stabenow announced priorities are in Michigan. We need to make sure this farm bill addresses your needs, and that's why I'm here today," Cornyn told the 16 roundtable participants.
"We need to make sure we continue to preserve the safety net that comes from crop insurance funding, eradication efforts of feral swine and cattle fever ticks," Cornyn said. "We're interested in creating an animal disease vaccine bank to help prevent, respond to disease outbreaks. These pandemics don't just occur among humans. As we know, they can actually have a devastating impact on animals. So, these are just a few examples, but the main reason why I'm here is to listen."
Tom Sell, co-founder/manager, Combest, Sell & Associates, moderated the discussion, which included the following individuals and organizations:
Walt Hagood, Board of Directors, Texas Farm Bureau
Jimmy Clark, Executive Director, Southwest Council of Agribusiness
Curtis Parrish, Judge, Lubbock County
Martin Stoerner, Board President/Producer, Plains Cotton Growers
Kevin Brinkley, President and Chief Executive Officer, Plains Cotton Cooperative Association
Kody Carson, Board Member/Producer, National Sorghum Producers
Brad Bouma, Chairman Emeritus, Select Milk Producers, Inc.
Eddie Womack, Producer, Texas Wheat Growers
Dr. Clint Krehbiel, Dean, Texas Tech University Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
Dr. Britt Conklin, Associate Dean/Professor, Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine
Michael Bezner, Board Chair/Producer, Texas Cattle Feeders Association
Joe Leathers, Board of Directors, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
Robbie Blount, Executive Director, Western Peanut Growers Association
Joe Reed, Board Member/Producer, Texas Corn Producers Association
Garrett Couts, Agriculture Committee Chair, Lubbock Chamber of Commerce
Take a look through this gallery to hear what some of the leaders had to say on behalf of their producers and members and agriculture as a whole.
"What's unique about us in agriculture is no one is monoculture. We all support each other," said Kody Carson, National Sorghum Producers board member and producer. "So, as we go into this farm bill, you're going to see a lot of unified requests."
Read more about:Farm Bill
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