For over three years, Senate Ag Committee members have traveled across our states, listening to stakeholders from family farms, conservation leaders, and nutrition groups. They have also hosted numerous subcommittee hearings and met one-on-one with the broad agricultural industry. 

Our ranking member, Sen John Boozman, R-Ark., has visited all of our states and then some, again listening to our producers and agribusinesses. After reviewing our colleagues' across-the-aisle proposal, which focuses almost 85% on nutrition programs and spending, it's clear our goal had to be to get the 'farm' back to the farm bill.

This week, all GOP Senate Ag Committee members can take pride and celebrate the quality of work Boozman and his staff did in putting our producer's concepts and vision into our Republican farm bill framework.

As we consider this product, we can say we indeed have sat on the tongue of the wagon with many, many producers. More specifically, this bill reflects the thoughts and opinions of agriculture stakeholder groups while putting together a proposal that meets the priorities demanded by our farmers, ranchers, and rural communities who rely on lawmakers to create a bipartisan farm bill that provides them with the tools and certainty needed to produce food for the world.

This proposal enhances crop insurance, along with Title 1, by increasing reference prices for ARC and PLC. Importantly, it invests in crop insurance without requiring farmers to give up Title 1 programs, and it doubles trade promotion so farmers can find new markets and combat the record ag trade deficit faced by the American farmer.

The Republican framework supports farmers and their time-honored conservation efforts without forcing them to accept harmful, ill-advised Green New Deal initiatives in return. It also pushes back against proposals made by Democrats to utilize our conservation programs to phase out animal agriculture, which is the largest contributor to the agricultural economy in Kansas.

Recently, U.S. agriculture research has fallen behind our adversaries, and this framework seeks to double current research expenditures, putting the U.S. back on par with China, which currently leads the U.S. in agriculture research investments 2:1. If this trend continues, the United States risks losing its competitive edge on the global innovation playing field, leading our industry to forfeit crucial trade opportunities to other nations.

It comes as no surprise that the nutrition title continues to receive the lion's share of funding under this proposal. Our framework protects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program from future cuts and ensures a modest cost of living increase in benefits each year. Under our bill, SNAP benefits will be at a record high.

It's important to note that preventing waste, fraud, and abuse is necessary for the success and survival of any government program. These reforms aim to protect a nation facing a historic debt crisis and ensure that food security is prioritized, but rest assured there are no cuts to SNAP in our proposal. 

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The benefits of this proposal will help our farmers far beyond the field. It invests in rural infrastructure, community facilities, and small business development.

It expands access to rural health care and, just as importantly, addresses the critical demands for rural childcare. It also makes rural broadband a permanent program, which puts rural America on an equal playing field with the rest of the modern world. A strong internet connection is just as vital a tool to farming families as crop insurance or conservation assistance, bringing the office, the classroom, and the clinic right to their front door.

This is another step towards finalizing a farm bill that our farm families direly need. It is important that we take the time necessary to get it right. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and Chairman "GT" Thompson in the House to deliver legislation that puts our farm families front and center.

Food security is national security. The only reason we can feed the country at affordable prices and help feed the rest of the world is because of the assurances and assistance our farm bill provides to our farmers and ranchers. 

We will continue to fight to produce a farm bill that reflects the needs of rural America, addresses the challenges farmers and ranchers face, protects our national food supply, and helps the hungry in need.

Roger Marshall, a physician, was elected to the Senate from Kansas in 2020.