Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act

Floor Speech

By:  John Barrow
Date: June 20, 2013
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BARROW of Georgia. I thank the gentleman for the time. I rise in opposition to the amendment.

Farming in 2013 can be a very complicated, high-tech and high-risk business. For example, there are many farmers in my district who farm thousands of acres that they don't own. They might grow cotton, peanuts, grains and specialty crops. They need a whole fleet of different equipment for each one of these crops. They're probably irrigating a whole lot of their crops. They likely employ dozens of people. These might be multimillion-dollar enterprises, and yet they still fit in the definition of a family farm. For these kinds of crops, it simply takes that kind of scale to be sustainable. Many farmers simply cannot afford to farm on that scale unless they have a safety net that can cover their risk.

This bill includes sustainable reforms of our farm safety net to make sure it's available to the people who need it most. It's not fair, nor in our best interest, to limit the participation of these larger family farms by undercutting their safety net, as this amendment would do. We need these farmers and they need us.

I, therefore, urge my colleagues to oppose the amendment.


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