On Monday morning, Nancy Pelosi, minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, visited central Iowa. Her visit to a Polk City farm was followed by discussion of farm bill issues with a group of Iowa farmers near Slater.
At the Aaron Lehman farm, near Polk City, Pelosi was able to evaluate current growing conditions and observe various conservation practices in place on the Lehman farm. These included pieces of ground enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) through seedings of native plants and pollinator friendly plants. She and others also viewed ground enrolled in the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), which was seeded last fall with a cover crop that will add to soil health while providing clean water and weed suppression benefits. In addition, they viewed acres converted into an organic rotation with the help of transition assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
After the farm tour, Pelosi joined Iowa Farmers Union President Lehman and other Iowa farmers to discuss issues related to the current farm bill.
“The House Farm Bill, as currently written, lacks the improvements needed to help farmers cope with continued low prices,” said Lehman. “The bill fails to provide farmers with the tools they need to be the best possible stewards of our natural resources, and it reverses progress toward expanding access to local, regional and specialty markets. Furthermore, it makes unnecessary cuts to programs that feed hungry Americans.”