The Senate Ag Committee hosted their first 2018 Farm Bill hearing this week and invited Lucas Heinen, a soybean farmer from Everest, Kansas, and President of the Kansas Soybean Association to participate and provide testimony.
The invitation to speak at the Kansas field hearing gives ASA the opportunity to talk about its updated farm bill goals and begin a dialogue with policy makers about what soy growers across the nation need and want in a new farm bill.
During his testimony, Heinen unapologetically opposed further spending cuts in the 2018 Farm Bill citing that agriculture voluntarily accepted $23 billion in cuts in the 2014 Farm Bill, and that no other sectors have made contribution to deficit reductions whatsoever.
Looking to 2018, he outlined the following priorities:
- Protecting the crop insurance program
- Continuing county ARC program.
- Full funding of conservation programs
- Increased funding for agricultural research
- Authorization and funding for programs that promote biodiesel and biobased products
- Doubling mandatory funding for the Foreign Market Development program (FMD) and that Market Access Program (MAP)
Heinen closed his testimony by stressing the importance of keeping programs that support farmers and programs that support consumers together in the 2018 Farm Bill.