2018 Farm Bill expands long-term security for family farms

2018 Farm Bill expands long-term security for family farms

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Easily passing both chambers of Congress, the 2018 Farm Bill gives much-needed certainty and security to farmers across the nation.

Part of that security is keeping the "family farm" alive, allowing extended family to inherit an operation.

"Overwhelmingly, even across the United States, farm production is being carried on by family farmers," Steve Verett, with Plains Cotton Growers, said.

The new farm bill brings long-term security to countless family operations across the nation. 

Verett said without this provision, those plots could go barren.

"If you have two brothers who are in an operation together, and they have sons or daughters in the operation as well, and if one of those brothers passed away, it would break the linkage in that operation and all the partners would no longer be eligible. This just widens that out in order that farms can remain eligible for the farm policy and price support, in case of some change in that family operation," Verett said.

PCG's Kody Bessent said he believes this a necessary step.

He said family farms are one of the backbones of American agriculture.

"From a farm bill perspective in itself, it does benefit family farming operations. To put it more in perspective, 97 percent of farm operations across the U.S., whether they are a small acreage farm or a relatively robust acreage farm, are family farms," Bessent said.

The farm bill also includes new provisions making it easier for young people to be a farmer. 

"There are provisions within the credit title of this farm bill that does enhance and provides more credit equitability for young producers to come into a farming operation, or to build upon that. So that's a positive aspect of the enactment of this new farm bill," Bessent said.

All in all, Lubbock Congressman Jodey Arrington said this farm bill is a win for West Texas and the future of agriculture.

"If we can have that in these rural communities, in these small towns, and we can have good farm bills with good ag policies, then we encourage these young farmers to have a positive outlook on staying in the family business," Rep. Arrington said.

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