Complexities of new farm bill topic of April 8 meet in South Texas

WESLACO  –  A statewide effort by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to get agricultural producers up to speed on the new farm bill is coming to the Lower Rio Grande Valley, according to agency experts.

Agricultural producers are urged to attend a meeting on April 8 in Monte Alto to discuss provisions of the new farm bill. (AgriLife Communications photo by Rod Santa Ana)

Agricultural producers are urged to attend a meeting on April 8 in Monte Alto to discuss provisions of the new farm bill. (AgriLife Communications photo by Rod Santa Ana)

A meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon April 8 at the Sam Sparks Auditorium at Rio Farms, 25601 North Farm-to-Market Road 88 in Monte Alto, according to Brad Cowan, AgriLife Extension agent for Hidalgo County.

“Producers will have some rather complicated decisions to make under the 2014 farm bill,” Cowan said. “Decisions will have to be made that producers will have to stick to for several years, so it’s very important that they come and learn from the experts.”

Dr. Joe Outlaw, co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University and an AgriLife Extension economist in College Station, will present “Understanding the Farm Safety Net.”

“For the safety net to be the most effective, you have to do your homework,” Outlaw said. “Don’t get stuck with something that may or may not be good for you for the life of the bill.”

The other speaker on the agenda is Tom Sell, former deputy staff director for the House Agriculture Committee and currently an associate of Combest, Sell and Associates of Lubbock.

Sell’s topic will be “Perspectives on the 2014 Farm Bill.”

Cowan said those who attend will have ample opportunity to ask questions.

“This is so important for so many producers that we’ve built plenty of time into the program to ask questions,” he said. “There’s a lot to digest, new terminology to learn and lots of decisions to make that could potentially affect operations, so we want to get everybody up to speed on this.

“Producers need to know what the new farm bill means for them. This will give them a good idea of what it will look like.”

For more information about the farm bill, go to The Agricultural and Food Policy Center website at www.afpc.tamu.edu .

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