FREEPORT, Maine — Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, brought a handful of her colleagues to Freeport Monday, as they get to work on the next federal farm bill.
The visit was part of a national tour the House Agriculture Committee, of which Pingree is a member, is taking to hear from their constituents. The group had previously made stops in Pennsylvania, Oregon, Florida, New York, Texas, and California, according to Pingree's office.
During each state visit, the group hosted a listening session, where farmers and neighbors could voice challenges they’d like to see addressed in the next farm bill. We met with the representatives before they sat in an auditorium with dozens of waiting Mainers. Committee Chair Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-PA, said the trip was crucial to making sure any future legislation had a substantive impact.
"These listening sessions play such an important role and I think it positions us well to achieve our goal, which is, quite frankly, to pass a bipartisan, bicameral farm bill that is highly effective," Thompson said. "And the highly effective part really comes from these listening sessions."
The farm bill is passed roughly every five years and has a wide range of policies that impact farming and food—from crop insurance to food security in rural and urban areas alike.