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Tester Says New Farm Bill Possible

It’s possible that a new Farm Bill still could happen this summer, according to U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.

During a conference call with Montana reporters on Thursday, April 18, the senator was asked about the possibility of still passing a Farm Bill this year. “A month ago, I would had said chances were slim and none, and slim has left town,” Tester said. “But over the last week, I’ve heard some positive things happening.”

The Democrat said he plans to discuss the legislation’s progress with U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark, soon. Boozman is the ranking member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

“That farm bill is pretty darn important for 2024,” Tester said.

It has been reported that House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson believes his committee will “mark up” a Farm Bill by Memorial Day.

Tester’s legislative assistant, Thomas Culver, met with area ranchers and farmers during stops in eastern Montana earlier this month.

At the beginning of 2023, Tester gained input from farmers and ranchers during his Barnstormin’ Farm Bill Listening Tour.

After that meeting, Tester said he will do his best to make sure that Montanans’ voices are heard in Washington, D.C.

During public comment, Tester was asked whether the current administration wants the country’s agriculture industry to fail. “I don’t think that’s what anybody wants,” Tester said. The senior added that family farm agriculture is critical to food security.

Tester noted his work in promoting more competition to large meat packers. He said capitalism is the best system in the world, but it only works when you have competition.

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