Barrow hears farming concerns, other issues on rural tour

By Dal Cannady - bio | email

SYLVANIA, GA (WTOC) - Some came to the Screven County UGA Extension office hear from John Barrow, while others came to bend the ear of Georgia's 12th District Congressman. Farmer Joe Boddiford voiced concerns over proposed cuts to federal farm programs.

"Agriculture is targeted for a 20 percent cut in that (discretionary spending budget) money, which is very disproportionate to the amount of funding which is only five or six percent of the overall," he said. "I don't think folks in rural areas are gonna support a farm bill that only has a few crumbs left over for farmers."

He and others wanted to remind Barrow, and Congress, that federal farm subsidies are more for keeping food safe and affordable than making farmers rich.

"We don't want to depend on other countries that don't have regulations to feed us," added farmer Ben Boyd.

Barrow said the fight over a 2012 farm bill is already brewing. He said the battle is explaining the issue to lawmakers who don't come from farm country.

"We should think of it as an insurance policy. None of us like paying the premiums but try living without it when you need it," the congressman explained.

While agriculture was one of the topics discussed, it was not the only issue on the table.

Visitors asked questions on veterans benefits, Medicare and social security. Barrow said the $60 billion in entitlement cuts made over the weekend was a start but hardly a remedy for the deficit.

"All we really did was turn a $1.5 trillion deficit into a $1.44 trillion deficit," Barrow stated. "Until we address the long term burden of Medicare in particular, we'll never get the federal government finances under control."

But finding a solution that satisfies everyone will be their biggest challenge.

The remaining sites of the tour are:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

  • 8:00am - 9:00am
    Warren County Library, 10 Warren Street, Warrenton
  • 9:30am - 10:30am
    Glascock County Farm Bureau, 47 East Main Street, Gibson
  • 3:30pm - 5:30pm
    Jefferson County Listening Tour Stop
    AG Extension Office, US Hwy 1, Louisville

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

  • 8:30am - 9:30am
    Commissioners Meeting Room, Evans County Annex, 3 Freeman Street, Claxton
  • 2:30pm - 4:00pm
    Hendrix Produce, Highway 129 South, Metter
  • 4:45pm - 6:30pm
    Swainsboro Farm Bureau, 320 Lambs Bridge Road, Swainsboro

Thursday, February 24, 2011

  • 9:00am - 10:30am
    Farm Bureau Office, 101 Memorial Drive, Reidsville
  • 4:30pm - 6:30pm
    Jennings Turf Farm, 6311 Highway 86, Soperton