Mary Kay Thatcher, farm policy specialist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, says that with the farm bill process beginning again it's important that farmers become even more engaged.
"I think farmers were a bit lackadaisical last year, especially about the farm bill and getting it done and weren't as out there and pushing their members of Congress to go to the House and Senate leadership and say get it done," said Thatcher. "I don't think they were lackadaisical at all about things like estate taxes, we were right on target, same thing on the EPA dust regulations, but I think we have to be active on all of these things because if we lose much more money out of the baseline we just won't have enough to be able to write a farm bill that really has any kind of adequate safety net attached to it."
Thatcher says that until the budget issues are resolved, not much in the way of the farm bill is going to happen. She anticipates an April timeframe before serious work begins on the writing of the next farm bill.