Impasse Ends; Farm Bill forum set for Tech’s International Cultural Center
An overview of the major changes in crop and conservation policies incorporated in the latest $956 billion Farm Bill is the focus of a special forum at 2 p.m. Monday (Mar. 24) at Texas Tech’s International Cultural Center. Sponsored by the Texas Tech’s Center for Agricultural Technology Transfer, Plains Cotton Growers Inc., and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension-Lubbock County, the free meeting is open to the general public.
Program officials note that those wishing to gain information about the new regulations and programs involved with the 2014 Farm Bill should find the forum educational and useful. Three guest speakers will present various topics of interest in the bill and will highlight major changes that will directly impact South Plains’ producers.
Speakers include Darren Richardson, assistant state conservationist for field operations for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Darren Hudson, Texas Tech’s Larry Combest Chair for Agricultural Competitiveness; and Jay Yates, an economist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Lawmakers passed the sprawling legislation last month after four years of bitter arguments over farming subsidies and efforts to reduce financing for food stamps. The final bill replaces direct crop payments with an insurance program and trims $8 billion from food stamps over the next decade.
One of the most contentious elements of the farm bill was the elimination of $5 billion in direct subsidies to farmers for their crops, whether they grew them or not. The subsidies were replaced by an insurance program that will help farmers only when they need it.
Erica Irlbeck, an assistant professor with Tech’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, said that the forum is organized by students in the department. Those unable to attend may keep up through the event’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/2014farmbill or Twitter feed, twitter.com/TTUAgIssueForum. The event’s hashtag is #farmbillttu, she said.
Written by Norman Martin
CONTACT: Erica Irlbeck, assistant professor, Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-6708 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s Note: The Texas Tech University International Cultural Center is located at 601 Indiana Ave.