The National Corn Growers Association has released a video series featuring corn growers across the nation sharing their personal stories about how the farm bill affects their operations. The videos were unveiled at Corn Congress, held recently in Washington, D.C.
The series features four farmers: Elizabeth Hinkle of Ashland, Pennsylvania, Aaron Martinka of Holland, Texas, Brent Rogers of Hoxie, Kansas, and Eric Tipton of Jeffersonville, Ohio.
In the videos, these NCGA members shared the importance of crop insurance, trade, farm safety net programs, and USDA conservation programming.
NCGA’s vice president of public policy, Brooke S. Appleton, noted the project’s goal was to help directly communicate with policymakers and their staff about the farm bill’s importance to corn growers and their families.
“Nearly half of the members of the House of Representatives were not around during the debate on the 2018 farm bill,” Appleton said. “We have known for some time that new member education would be key to our comprehensive advocacy efforts on the farm bill. This video series is a great way to bring the story of corn growers to Capitol Hill — especially those who are new to Washington.”
The farm bill is typically reauthorized every five years and is the core piece of legislation governing many U.S. Department of Agriculture programs critical to farmers. The current bill is set to expire on September 30, 2023. With the deadline quickly approaching, NCGA encourages advocates to contact their congressional representatives.
“The farm bill is our Super Bowl,” said NCGA’s Director of PAC and Political Strategy Anne Thompson. “It is critical corn growers share perspective with their elected officials and send a unified message to Capitol Hill as the bill is being developed. Every voice is important.”
Brent Rogers, Double K Farms, Kansas
“Crop insurance, crop insurance, crop insurance. It is so important to agriculture, and it’s been so important to our area. And then, you throw the drought on top of that — it has been even more important,” says Rogers.
Aaron Maritnka, Texas
“That’s the thing about farming. There’s no fixed cost in any equation,” says Markinka. “The farm bill provides stability to our overall food and fiber production so that we can produce enough food and fiber domestically and globally as well,” says Martinka.
Eric Tipton, Ohio
“I don’t think a lot of the general population knows how much the production agriculture farm has changed: Changes in equipment, changes in operation, changes in people. Every acre we farm is green year-round, and to be able to do that is not free,” says Tipton. “The goal is to continue to farm and to get better at farming, not to collect crop insurance.”
Liz Hinkel, Hinkel Farm, Pennsylvania
“There is a lot invested with the amount of years that the family has in the farm; there’s a lot of pride in keeping that going year after year,” says Hinkel. “We need to have the markets available.”