Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), is urging farmers to make their voices heard as the next Farm Bill is being considered.
“Constantly communicate with (legislators) week in and week out,” he said during a recent visit to Indiana, where he met with members of the media.
“And then when these congressmen and senators and other representatives come to their community and have town hall meetings, our farmers need to get off their tractors and out of their barns and then need to be present,” Duvall added.
He also encouraged farmers to share their own stories.
“Farmers can be involved on social media and bring the truth to the surface,” Duvall said. “Invite people to come to the farm. Let them see for themselves. It’s so valuable to a mother, to a congressman, to see and ask questions about farms.”
Duvall said that if there is a fight over crop insurance funding, that kind of grassroots engagement is critical.
“We’ve got to make sure that we have congressmen and senators who understand the importance of crop insurance. Crop insurance is a requirement of most lending institutions today, and it is important to have that risk management tool there for our farmers,” Duvall said.
Maintaining a strong crop insurance program in the upcoming Farm Bill is a top priority of the Farm Bureau, the nation’s largest farm organization.
“The cornerstone of the 2014 farm bill was crop insurance,” Duvall said. “Our first need and want [in the next Farm Bill] is to maintain that support of our crop insurance program, to make sure our farmers have that risk management tool.”
Duvall’s visit to the Hoosier State was part of his commitment to visit farmers in every state during his first two years.