GFVGA Executive Director Discusses Farm Bill Proposals

Clint ThompsonFarm Bill, Georgia

Chris Butts

By Clint Thompson

The farm bill is far from a finished product, but at least the process to finalize an important piece of legislation is underway. The House Agriculture Committee and Senate Agriculture Committee have passed frameworks of the bill.

Chris Butts, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA), discussed the current proposals in both frameworks and what the GFVGA wants to see more of before the bill becomes finalized.

“There are a lot of good provisions in the various frameworks that have been released so far, a lot of good things for specialty crops; a lot of good work has been done by the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA) to get those provisions included in the bill. We still, from a Georgia perspective, would like to see something that addresses the seasonal issue and a little bit more than what is in there so far,” Butts said.
“That’s our big ask as we continue to look for a seasonal solution to complement all of the other good things that are in there.”

Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council and co-chair of the SCFBA, compares the farm bill process to a game of poker.

“We got the first hand dealt and it came in pretty well for specialty crops. It wasn’t a perfect hand, but now we move on. We’ve got a number of more hands to play,” Quarles said. “We just want to make sure that folks stay engaged in the process. This can’t be the end of the 2024 farm bill. It’s got to be the beginning and it needs to accelerate from here.”