Farm Bill season is ramping up as the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry hold their second field hearing for the 2023 Farm Bill. The committee began their field hearings in Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow’s home state of Michigan last month and they continue this month in Arkansas, home state of Ranking Member John Boozman. “Our field hearings are a great opportunity to hear firsthand from the people who use Farm Bill programs most about ways we can strengthen this important legislation, grow the rural economy, and meet the challenges facing our country,” said Senator Stabenow. Read our synopsis of last month’s meeting here.
As they did last month, the Young Farmers Land Advocacy Fellows continue to champion our policy priorities at this month’s field hearing. Jonathan McArthur, Farm Manager and Field Educator at The Center for Arkansas Farms and Food, submitted written testimony that speaks to the barriers he faces in accessing reliable and affordable land. “I have been ready to start my own farm for the past three years, but even with my experience, my consistent salary, and my connections, I am still plagued like so many other young farmers with unobtainable land in the area I want to farm,” says McArthur. “Is it too much to ask that I find secure access to affordable land within a reasonable driving distance from the area in which I grew up?”
The second 2023 Farm Bill hearing—entitled “2023 Farm Bill: Perspectives from the Natural State”—will be held on Friday, June 17, 2022, at 9am CT at Riceland Hall of the Fowler Center at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR. Stream the hearing live or find a recording here.
Farmer voices are the heart of our One Million Acres for the Future Campaign. Young Farmers launched a two-year, paid advocacy and leadership fellowship that will resource 100 young farmers, growers, and land stewards to build momentum and shift power to advocate for equitable land policy in the 2023 Farm Bill. Learn more about the fellowship here.