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Florida Farming

Capitol chaos delays Florida farm bill listening sessions


Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson was meant to hold two listening sessions on the U.S. Farm bill with House members Scott Franklin (FL-18) and Kat Cammack (FL-3), respectively; however, in a Thursday statement, both sessions were announced to be postponed “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

Franklin and Cammack each represent large, mostly rural districts that depend heavily on agriculture. The farm bill must be renewed every five years to set federal policy and funding for agricultural and conservation programs. The previous iteration expired at midnight on Sept. 30. It was last signed into law by President Donald Trump in December 2018.

Adeline Sandridge, a spokesperson for Rep. Cammack, said the postponement was due to U.S. House members called back to Washington, D.C. during two previously scheduled recess weeks to avert a government shutdown. 

After a bipartisan 45-day spending bill was passed, the Republican Party, of which Franklin and Cammack are members, got caught up in a leadership fight that saw Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-20) toppled as House Speaker.

Aaron Keller, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Agriculture, said he didn’t have information on when the listening sessions would be rescheduled. The events were supposed to take place at Lake Placid Government Center on Monday afternoon and at Granville Plantation in Newberry, Florida on the following Friday.

The sessions were meant to be an opportunity “for farmers, ranchers, and growers to voice their concerns and thoughts on upcoming agricultural issues, such as the Farm Bill and other emerging federal, state and local issues impacting Florida’s agriculture industry,” a flyer for Rep. Cammack’s session said.

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Farm Bill, Florida Phoenix, Florida Department of Agriculture, US House of Representatives