Joint Agriculture Committee Chairmen Ag Issues Summit addresses issues farmers face

Farmers always have to deal with issues like the weather, but according to farmer Knapp Boddiford, he's seeing more problems than ever before.
Joint Agriculture Committee Chairmen Ag Issues Summit

PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Farmers always have to deal with issues like the weather, but according to farmer Knapp Boddiford, he’s seeing more problems than ever before.

“Labor’s also been a big increasing challenge, and also certainly this current market year, inputs are almost doubled, everything is out of the roof,” Boddiford said. “It’s been a very trying year to make the numbers work to be able to have a successful year this year.”

Boddiford was one of many in attendance at the Joint Agriculture Committee Chairmen Ag Issues Summit Tuesday.

District 20 State Senator Larry Walker echos Boddiford on issues farmers face.

“Input costs for farmers, the high cost of diesel fuel, fertilizer, seed, labor, land equipment, that’s a real challenge for the financial viability of our farmers,” Senator Walker said.

According to Senator Walker, agribusiness and agriculture is a huge industry in Georgia. He says there are many opportunities for people to get involved in the industry and plenty of ways to get financial help.

“Getting into the farming business persay is difficult because it’s so capital intensive,” Senator Walker said. “But we’ve got some loan programs that can help young farmers get a foothold and get started.”

Boddiford says he always advocates for agriculture. He encourages people to reach out to their local farmers to learn more about the industry.

“There’s a lot of folks who have misconceptions. They don’t know because they didn’t grow up around it. Please contact your local farmer, show up to the farm, ask questions,” he said.

According to Senator Walker, there are several ballot initiatives for forestry and agriculture this November. One exempts forestry equipment from ad valorem tax, and the other exempts family farm enterprises from ad valorem tax.

If you missed the summit and want the information discussed, you can contact Senator Walker by email at Larry.Walker@Senate.GA.Gov, or you can call his office at (404) 656-0095.

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