U.S. Senator Rob Portman will meet with farmers in the Dayton area today to answer questions about the farm bill.
For most farmers, the first concern about the farm bill is making sure there is a farm bill. The bill expires every five years, and the U.S. House and Senate have until October to agree on a new version or extend the old one.
“It creates uncertainty in production agriculture,” said Joani Grimes, who manages Premium Ag Commodities, the private group of farmers hosting Sen. Portman. She says subsidized crop insurance included in the bill helps farmers plan ahead.
Immigration will also be on the table with the Senator.
“It is a very important part of some producers workforce, because they cannot find labor or help any other way than through using immigrants,” Grimes said. But the farmers won’t be lobbying Senator Portman; they’ll just be asking questions.
In June Sen. Portman voted against a version of the farm bill, citing his desire to scale back food stamps and other subsidies. He also voted against the Senate immigration overhaul, citing security concerns. Senator Portman is among the top Senate recipients of campaign donations from the agriculture sector.