Community Provides Input to Senator Donnelly at Ancilla Farm Bill Listening Session (11/11)

posted Nov 11, 2017, 8:32 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library
Posted on November 11, 2017
Author Jacque Ryan, WKVI 

On Friday, Senator Joe Donnelly visited the Ancilla College campus to hold a listening session over the farm bill that is currently being written. Before Donnelly talked with group gathered in Cana Hall about business, he got comfortable by removing his tie and greeting individuals in the crowd.

Ancilla President Kenneth Zirkle began the event by briefly discussing the agriculture program at the college, stating that when they started two and half years ago they only had three individuals involved, now that number is up to nearly 50 agriculture students.

Agriculture director Tim McLochlin introduced the senator, but first he acknowledged all the community members who help make Ancilla’s agriculture program so immersive and impactful.

During the session, various individuals voiced their concerns about the needs of the agriculture community. One individual spoke about how the current farm bill does little to help the dairy industry and suggested that more needs to be done with supply and control management. Many people spoke about the importance of family-run farms and asked Senator Donnelly to build the bill with generational farms in mind.

Crop insurance was an issue that Donnelly said is a cornerstone of the farm bill. He also specified that there are rules and regulations in place to avoid cases of fraud. The insurance is there to help farmers when nature plays a role in crop failure when things like floods and droughts inevitably take place.

He also talked about the role that bio-fuel plays in the agriculture industry and said that its up to farmers whether or not they wish use their supply for food or fuel. He added that conservation and environmental efforts will continue to play a major role in the future farm bill.

He thanked everyone in attendance for sharing their input and reiterated the importance of community involvement. Donnelly said the bill is anticipated to be completed sometime next year.

To hear more from Friday’s session, tune into WKVI’s Weekend Program,  Kankakee Valley Viewpoints this Sunday at noon.