Farm bill listening session in Newberry

Five members of the House Committee on Agriculture were there including North Central Florida’s Kat Cammack
Five members of the House Committee on Agriculture were there including North Central Florida’s Kat Cammack
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 9:58 PM EDT
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NEWBERRY, Fla. (WCJB) - Hundreds of farmers descended on the UF IFAS extension to share their thoughts on the upcoming farm bill.

Farmers who attended the event got their chance to speak directly to members of the House Committee on Agriculture--including North Central Florida’s Representative, Kat Cammack (R) FL-03.

Cammack says she was moved to tears when she saw how many farmers came out to a farm bill listening session today.

“They should be on the farm right now but they’re here because it’s that important,” Cammack said.

Organizers estimated 400 were in attendance to share their views on how they believe the farm bill should be written to benefit them.

Robert Ortez is a sugarcane farmer in Palm Beach County who urged House members to oppose any changes that would harm his industry.

“This is our livelihood,” said Ortez. “This is something that we feel passionate about and I’m happy that they take the time to come listen to our concerns.”

“To be able to host the one and only listening session for the farm bill in the entire state of Florida was one of the most humbling and privileged moments that I have had in my career,” said Cammack.

Five other members of the House Agriculture Committee joined Cammack, including chairman, Glenn Thompson (R) PA-15, and Florida District 9 Representative, Darren Soto.

Discussion was wide ranging--and some of the main points included input costs, sustainability and instruction on updated machinery.

“It’s a tremendous privilege to be here and it’s an honor for them to come down to the state of Florida and listen to our opinions on what we have to say about Florida agriculture,” said Ortez.

“We got to bring down the cost of inputs: fertilizers, labor, fuel costs,” said Cammack. “I think a seasonable and perishable provision, that has to be addressed.”

Each farm bill put into place is good for five years and the current one will expire in September.

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