AFVGA Executive Director Voices Frustration About Lack of New Farm Bill

Clint ThompsonAlabama

By Clint Thompson

What was due at the end of last September is still not in place as the calendar hits mid-April. Who knows when a new farm bill will be in place? Blake Thaxton does not.

Blake Thaxton

The executive director of the Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association expressed his frustration about the piece of legislation that was scheduled to be renewed every five years. President Trump signed the current Farm Bill into law on Dec. 20, 2018. But it expired at the end of September.

“We’re just hearing like everyone else, gridlocked and standstill; some of the other commodity groups outside of fruit and vegetables are really pushing the reference price, and our affiliation with the Alabama Farmers Federation supports that, and they’re trying to figure out a way to pay for it and don’t have a good way to do it, sounds like. Right now, that’s all we’re hearing, gridlock and not sure when we will get a new farm bill,” Thaxton said.

An extension of the current farm bill was in place by the end of last year. And the waiting continues.

“It’s definitely frustrating. This is necessary legislation for agriculture, and we are anxiously waiting for Congress to figure something out and make sure that agriculture can continue into the future. We’re open to helping them in every way we can. There’s just not a lot of camaraderie in D.C. and cooperativeness to get anything done it seems like,” Thaxton said.

The 2018 Farm Bill totaled $800 billion. The next Farm Bill is expected to approach $1.5 trillion.