Opinion: Republican Farm Bill bad for region

The Spokesman-Review     Friday, May 4, 2018

By Judy Olson

These last few weeks Congress has been debating a renewal of the Farm Bill. You may not know about it, but literally everyone who eats has a stake in its outcome, and it has profound impacts on farmers like my husband and me.

It rears its head every few years, and historically it’s been overwhelmingly bipartisan. This year, however, it’s facing partisan gridlock as congressional leaders try to use it to cut food assistance programs for families in need, including our current congresswoman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

My husband and I own a farm in Garfield, Washington, where we raise wheat, barley, lentils and canola. Just like we rely on crop insurance for bad weather, farmers large and small rely on the Farm Bill to provide a safety net during times of market instability.

It includes a number of programs that matter to farmers and others, including farm commodity support, financial support for new and small farmers, conservation, support for rural infrastructure and food security for hungry families.

The last is called SNAP, the food assistance program that almost 1 in 5 households in Eastern Washington depend on, and that’s exactly what Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Paul Ryan and other congressional leaders are trying to attack this year.

Read the full opinion article in The Spokesman-Review

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