WASHINGTON – Farmers Union member Tessa Parks, a beginning farmer from Northfield, Minnesota, testified today before the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade. The hearing focused on “Pathways to Farming: Helping the Next Generation of Farmers,” and Parks delivered a message on behalf of National Farmers Union’s (NFU) more than 230,000 members nationwide.

“Beginning farmers like me face significant barriers to entry into agriculture,” said Parks“The farm safety net favors larger and more established farms, land is expensive and capital is difficult to access, climate change makes farming more risky, and ongoing corporate consolidation limits our access to a fair and open marketplace.”

This hearing comes in advance of an expected markup of a Senate version of the 2024 Farm Bill. Parks’ comments reiterated NFU policy positions related to commodity programs and crop insurance, climate change, and competitive markets.

“Farmers Union members’ voices are the greatest strength of our organization,” said NFU President Rob Larew“Thank you, Tessa, for speaking up today and for your leadership as the Rice County Farmers Union president in Minnesota. I also thank the Subcommittee for holding today’s hearing and urge the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee to move swiftly to pass a farm bill that builds a brighter future for the next generation of family farmers and ranchers.”

Parks’ testimony may be found here.

The subcommittee hearing may be viewed here.

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