Congressman Bob Gibbs' Statement on Farm Bill Vote

May 16, 2013
Press Release

Washington D.C. – U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-7) released the following statement after voting against H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013, at a House Agriculture Committee Markup:

“While I am grateful the committee incorporated two of my amendments – one requiring an annual study on the new Title One programs, and the other to help prohibit any further release of farmers’ private information – I still have serious concerns about the overall bill.

“As past President of the Ohio Farm Bureau, I believe that agriculture policy should be based on market-driven principles.  Including language for dairy farmers that effectively equates to supply management is the exact opposite of a free market system.  Ohio dairy farmers need to be able to grow with the market, and artificially setting limits on the milk they can produce will only keep them more dependent on government subsidies.

“Finally, I believe the commodity title, Title One, is drastically unfair to Ohio farmers.  The commodity title now includes target prices that are set so high for certain crops, that some farmers may have guaranteed profits.  I believe farmers should be making decisions on what to plant based on market signals, not on which crop will give them the most government subsidy.  I fully support a Farm Bill that gives farmers and producers ways to mitigate their risk to continue to provide a safe and affordable food supply. 

“We all know that farmers cannot control the weather and crop insurance provides them with a tool to buy insurance to help protect against drastic losses.  However, Ohio corn and soy farmers are on the losing end of the commodity title with rice and peanut farmers gaining the most from the new Price Loss Coverage program.

“I look forward to continuing my work on the floor and ensuring our farmers have a long-term farm bill that will promote the stability and viability of our rural communities.” – U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-7)