WASHINGTON — It’s important to complete the 2023 farm bill in a timely manner, with input from the state level, said Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and second vice president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
Kettler recently testified before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research.
He emphasized the necessity of a bipartisan, fully funded 2023 farm bill and how certainty for farmers in policy and regulation is key to effective implementation of the bill further down the line.
Kettler also highlighted farmers’ challenges in accessing specialty crop block grants.
He touched on the need for a stronger definition of “specialty crops” and the challenge smaller farms face in accessing grant money when competing against larger institutes for the same pool of funding.
“It is vital Congress provides certainty by delivering a forward-looking, fully funded farm bill, on time,” Kettler said. “If the pandemic and the recent events unfolding in Ukraine have taught us anything, it is that this farm bill and all future farm bills are an issue of national security.”