GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Senator Pat Roberts took advantage of the recess in Congress to visit Garden City Community College.
While there, he spoke to students and staff about the new farm bill currently in the works.
It’s been three years since the last farm bill was passed, and a lot has changed in the ag industry since then.
“The farm bill will have to address the situation we’re in now,” said Roberts, “which is a lot tougher than it was several years back.”
That situation he described includes excess grain, low prices, and farmers’ incomes dropping for the fourth straight year.
“Last time we had a farm bill, we had pretty good prices,” he said. “Mother Nature really wasn’t cooperating like we wanted, but she changed her mind. I hope she continues to do that, but prices are at 16 year lows.”
A major component of the farm bill is funding for SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Roberts said the farm bill will not pass in the senate without strong support for the program.
“You need to really target that program to those people who really need it. There’s some other things we can do as well, but just in general look at the program to see where we can make efficiencies and make it work better.”
Senator Stabenow of Michigan, the ranking member of the Senate ag committee, will join senator Roberts in Manhattan this Thursday for a public hearing on the farm bill.