Farmers bring their 2014 Farm Bill concerns to roundtable discussion

DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Middle Georgia farmers say they want answers about the 2014 Farm Bill.

President Obama signed it into law in February.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary, Krysta Harden and U.S. Congressman John Barrow hosted a “Roundtable” discussion at the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

“Many things that are good for agriculture in one part of the country aren’t good for agriculture in another part of the country,” said Barrow. “It’s very important that the regulations that are adopted are equally fair to our part of the country. Because, the last thing we want, is to work real hard to make the law fair and then have regulations that are unfair.”

There are nearly 50,000 farmers across Georgia. The purpose of the “Roundtable” discussions is to make sure they understand how the 2014 Farm Bill affects them.

“The thing that brought me to Washington and made me want to be there working in Agriculture, frankly are still the same, and it’s to keep farmers on the farm and ranchers on the ranch,and to make sure that policies and programs make since for you,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden.

Middle Georgia Vice-President of Georgia Farm Bureau, Robert Fountain owns a beef and cattle ranch. He says the new Farm Bill protects him in the event of a drought.

“With the live stock sector, we are primarily impacted through this legislation by having a fall back position, if we’re overly impacted by severe weather,” said Fountain.

Another Middle Georgia farmer, James Malone, owns 1,500 acres of peanuts and cotton. He says the new Farm Bill does not offer direct payments.

“Basically, it’s going to be a lot less money in the farm bill for farmers,” said Malone. “It’s going to be more switched over to more insurance, so the farmer is going to bare the cost of insurance and that’s what is going to keep him in business.”

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