Tofton, GA -- March 16, 2012 --
Senator Saxby Chambliss visited Tifton to talk about a subject that hits close to home in Southwest Georgia: the farm bill.
"This is going to be a very unusual farm bill, it's my fourth farm bill since I've been in Congress," said the senator.
Why so unusual? The budget constraints that are affecting all of Washington are being felt like never before, and those constraints extend to agriculture.
"The number 23 billion dollars was asked of agriculture, so we responded because I think that's a fair figure, provided that folks in other aspects of the federal government do the same thing, so we're going to demand that," explained Senator Chambliss.
Farmers can expect 23 billion dollars in cuts over a 10 year span. On a positive note, prices have been steadily high for commodities for the last couple of years. Sen. Chambliss says that is a blessing and a curse.
"When prices are high, very few checks come out of Washington going toward farmers, and farmers like that, and obviously policy makers who write the Farm Bill like that."
Farmers would love to be self-sufficient without relying on Washington money, but crop prices can't be steadily high forever. So even with Washington spending cuts on agriculture looming, the Farm Bill is looking into a safety net for farmers if, and when, prices decline.
"The farm component is very important and our proudcers deserve a national policy that ensures food security for our nation," said Georgia Comissioner of Agriculture Gary Black.