FarmPolicy

November 13, 2018

Politico: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Farm Bill Anniversary

Categories: Farm Bill

Earlier this week, Politico’s Jason Huffman and Bill Tomson sat down with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack “to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the 2014 Farm Bill.”

An unofficial FarmPolicy.com TRANSCRIPT of the discussion is available here.

And highlights from the Politico interview were included in Friday’s FarmPolicy.com news summary.

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Policy Issues; Trade; Agricultural Economy; Regulations; and, Immigration

Policy Issues

Earlier this week, Politico’s Jason Huffman and Bill Tomson sat down with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack “to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the 2014 Farm Bill.” A video replay of this discussion is available here, while an unofficial FarmPolicy.com transcript of the interview can be found here.

In part, Sec. Vilsack indicated that, “I think basically what Congress had a difficult time determining is when a non-farm family individual is actively engaged in farming enough so that they qualify to participate in some of the safety net programs. This is a notion of actively engaged, who is actively engaged in terms of providing management responsibilities.

“This involves a very narrow percentage of folks who are in the business of farming, primarily limited partnerships, general partnerships. It doesn’t involve family farms, it doesn’t involve family farm corporations. So our expectation is that probably one to two percent, or perhaps even fewer of the overall farmers are going to be impacted by however we define actively engaged.”

Sec. Vislack added that, “We’re working through that process and I think we have a pretty good handle on it. We’re working it through the regulatory process right now, and I would anticipate and expect sometime in 2015, relatively shortly, we’ll be coming out with how we define it and asking for comment on whether or not we’ve got it right or not.

“The reality is that this has been a loophole that has been utilized by folks in partnerships to allow for many, many, many people to qualify as actively engaged, when in fact they might be only engaged in a conference call or in a very narrow sense participating in the decision-making in a farming operation. So we will close that loophole to the extent that we can, but Congress is not giving us a whole lot of room to do that.”

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