Ciscomani holds Farm Bill round table in Willcox

U.S. Rep. Juan Ciscomani, R-ariz., and Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse, enter, hear from Willcox-area farmers and ranchers what they would like to see in this year's farm bill. - Contributed Photo

Contributed article

WILLCOX — U.S. Rep. Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz., held a roundtable Friday with local farmers, ranchers and producers to hear directly from agriculture industry stakeholders on their priorities in the 2023 Farm Bill.

Ciscomani was joined by Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse, a fifth-generation rancher in Pima County and member of Ciscomani’s bipartisan Advisory Council.

“Arizona’s farmers, ranchers and producers help feed and clothe the world,” Ciscomani said. “As Congress crafts the 2023 Farm Bill, it’s critical that their needs and priorities are included in the package. I appreciate everyone who attended our roundtable for their time and input today, and am committed to being a strong advocate for our agriculture industry in Washington.”

“Agriculture is a $23.3 billion industry in Arizona and in Congressional District 6, farmers and ranchers are growing everything from cotton and cattle to wine grapes, dairy and pistachios,” Smallhouse said. “The passage of the Farm Bill every five years is a critical piece of legislative responsibility in securing America’s food supply. Although only about 25 percent of the bill is dedicated to farm programs like crop insurance, rural development, and natural resource conservation — in total the whole bill is a food security bill.

“We appreciate Congressman Ciscomani taking the time to understand how the Farm Bill provides a necessary safety net to so many producers in his district, whether that be mitigating for drought, managing the risk of volatile commodity market swings, investing in trade promotion, or environmental stewardship on farms and ranches across District 6, the Congressman has taken a keen interest in Arizona’s food security and resiliency.”