HEADLAND, Ala. (WDHN) — Farmers make up a good portion of the workforce in the Wiregrass and they rely on it to survive and make a living, but over the horizon is a new farm bill where some lawmakers are looking to make changes with a hope of saving one of the longest serving professions.
On Tuesday, farmers got to voice concerns and ideas they have for the farm bill, a bill that is set to expire this year. The farm bill is a package of legislation that has a tremendous impact on farming livelihoods, how food is grown, and what kinds of foods are grown. Covering programs ranging from crop insurance for farmers to healthy food access for low-income families, from beginning farmer training to support for sustainable farming practices, the farm bill sets the stage for our food and farm systems.
“We need to know the problems before we have an answer for it,” Alabama Senator, Tommy Tuberville said.
Some of those concerns voiced involved funding to keep farms afloat, finding qualified specialized workers, and the future of farming in the area as the amount of young people taking up the farming profession is dwindling.
“We have a declining population of farmers because our cost of farming has gone up,” Senator Tuberville said.
Farmers in the crowd say it is due to watching their parents work in farming where they struggled to make a living or even produce a crop.
“Their kids are not going to grow up to want to be farmers,” Senator Tuberville said. “We want everybody to make a profit and be self-serving in our country.”
Senator Tuberville says the fight for changes to the bill is not a political fight, but instead, it is a fight between the northern and the southern parts of the country as each part produces different kinds of crops and they each have different needs.
Senator Tuberville made four stops throughout the state on Tuesday.