The Government Relations team has been busy on all fronts during the longest state legislature in history, as well as ongoing discussions on some hot topics, and, of course, the continued effort to roll back some of the Trump administration's regulations, specifically related to the endangered species act.


The 2023 Farm Bill

President Smallhouse recently hosted a Farm Bill discussion with Representative Ciscomani and members back in June where our priorities were laid out. The items identified that will guide our advocacy in developing the next Farm Bill include:

  • Protecting current Farm Bill program spending through a unified Farm Bill that includes nutrition and farm programs working together.
  • Highlighting risk management tools, including a federal crop insurance and commodity program, as top funding priorities.
  • Maintaining funds for working-land conservation programs that maintain environmental and climate benefits.
  • Providing USDA with resources for sufficient staffing capacity and technical assistance.


We also discussed the WOLF Act, sponsored by Rep. Stanton which several of our congressional leaders submitted as a priority for the upcoming Farm Bill. The Farm Bill discussion continues as the House and Senate Ag Committee leaders remain optimistic. The challenge will be with funding after last month’s fight over suspending the debt limit. According to the Congressional Budget Office under existing programs, the Farm Bill is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years, with $1.2 trillion of that for nutrition programs. Congress will certainly be debating whether to increase or decrease that amount in the coming weeks.  


The Labor Front

On the labor front, house members have once again introduced the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. While we recognize and welcome h-2A reform, we also need to ensure that it meets all agriculture’s needs. If you recall in years past, we have worked diligently to position ourselves where we could support the legislation with amendments. Our efforts will once again be focused on reform that meets the need of all our farmers and ranchers across the U.S. This also comes on the heels of Chairman GT Thompson and ranking member David Scott organizing a bipartisan Agricultural Labor Working Group.

Stay tuned there is always more to come even as the Arizona Legislature finally ended.