MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Congress is beginning its work on the 2023 Farm Bill and recently heard testimony about the Farm Bill and why it is important. Adam Brown, who farms in Macon County in the Warrensburg area, was one of the farmers who sat in front of the House Agriculture Committee to testify.

Stu Ellis: Adam you made a lot of local headlines about that, I must say. And what did you tell the committee about the Farm Bill?

Adam Brown: Well, I essentially told my story and it’s a story with a lot of rise and fall to it, much like ag commodity markets, a lot of what we face, day in and day out. And I told the story of a young, beginning and small farmer over the past five years. And I’ve had some struggles buying out my father and my uncle’s shares of the operation, but I especially had a lot of stress when we saw real estate change hands when my grandpa passed away. And so I was really involved in a lot of USDA programs that I saw both their benefits and their shortcomings, so I wanted to advise U.S. Congress and the folks on that committee how they could improve it in the future in the next Farm Bill.

Stu Ellis: USDA programs, such as?

Adam Brown: Well, the real estate 50/50 program for me was a huge one. So 50% of the funds come from the FSA office, 50% from a local lender; in my case that was Farm Credit Illinois. Really a helpful program, but in the next Farm Bill, I am going to advise that they raise their thresholds for dollar amounts on the expenditure end. What we’ve seen in the ag community, of course, is huge inflation, a rampant rise in input costs, rampant rise in real estate costs and that presents a lot of struggles for a young and beginning farmer. So I would advise that those thresholds be raised in the future and I had a few other recommendations for them as well.

Somebody who is a local, central Illinois farmer representing thousands of other farmers across the country.