Lawmakers address priorities for 2023 Farm bill

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(ABC 6 News) – One of the most important pieces of legislation taken up by Congress this year is the farm bill.

Wednesday evening, it inched closer to a full framework. It’s an omnibus bill that dictates much of the U.S. Food and Agriculture system impacting nearly every aspect of a farmers life and work.

It also has huge impacts on national food security and the environment. The bill is reauthorized every five years.

Currently, it is still in the planning stages.

Here is a look at the similar 2018 version.

Nutrition makes up 3 quarters of that funding which makes sure people on nutritional programs like SNAP can have access to quality American produced food.

The next biggest piece, crop insurance and risk management totaling 38 and a half billion dollars in the 2018 version of the farm bill.

That funding does things like provide subsidies to farmers to protect them from loss from things like natural disasters.

And it’s *that part of the bill that Representative Brad Finstad says farmers have been vocal about.

“What we’re hearing is there’s a strong need to maintain and enhance the risk management component of the farm bill, so things like crop insurance, the ARC, and PLC programs. The thing that I’m hearing loud and clear is that we have to maintain it,” Finstad said.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar also highlighting how important risk management is. Not only for the livelihood of farmers but also for national food security and access.

“We still have the farm bill programs ready to go if we see major disasters and if we didn’t prepare for that we would have a situation where our farmers would go under, and we wouldn’t be making our own food and we would have this whole cycle like we once had when it came to energy,” Klobuchar said.

Once the bill moves out of both the House and Senate Agriculture committees it will move to the floor of each chamber for a full vote which will happen sometime this year.