OLATHE, Kan. — Congress is gearing up for another Farm Bill this year.
It’s a piece of legislation voted on every five years and is often known as one of the biggest safety nets for farmers.
Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) has been on a listening tour the past couple of weeks, hearing from local ranchers, farms, and businesses about their priorities when it comes to the bill.
She visited Pat and Rachel’s Gardens in Olathe Tuesday afternoon and learned about how owner, James Leek, grows his organic produce and some of the issues other farmers are facing.
“We talked about labor, you know we talked about immigration, you know how all these people have come across into this country but they can’t legally work,” Leek said.
The bill is comprised of 12 titles, the biggest being nutrition. It takes up about 80 percent of the spending and helps to manage nutrition assistance programs, like food stamps.
The bill expands well beyond just animals and crops and impacts more than just people in rural America. It also covers research, conservation, and rural development.
“You know everything from crop insurance to you know I think you just heard a few minutes ago about the value added grant programs that exist,” Davids said. “And you know I just think when it comes to the farm bill the implications and the impact that it has is it touches every aspects of our lives I’d say.”
Her district is now significantly more rural following last year’s redistricting process. She serves on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, which is expected to consider this year’s farm bill.
She’s continuing her listening tour later this week in Wyandotte County.