Butler County Times Gazette
My name is Katie Stockstill-Sawyer and my husband, Derek, and I own and operate a farm and livestock operation in Central Kansas.
We Need The Farm Bill
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About this blog
By Katie Stockstill Sawyer
My name is Katie Stockstill-Sawyer and my husband, Derek, and I own and operate a farm and livestock operation in Central Kansas. I married into the farming world in December 2010 and have spent every minute learning all that I can about farming and ...
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New to the Farm
My name is Katie Stockstill-Sawyer and my husband, Derek, and I own and operate a farm and livestock operation in Central Kansas. I married into the farming world in December 2010 and have spent every minute learning all that I can about farming and the rural lifestyle. I work in town as the marketing and communications manager for a commercial construction company, mobile occupational services company and safety consulting and training firm. In the hours outside the office, I help on the farm in any way I can – and sometimes that means just staying out of the way. This blog tracks my experiences as I learn what a life on the farm really means. I wouldn’t change this lifestyle for the world. Farmers and ranchers are some of the hardest working individuals in the world and they do what they do 365 days a year to ensure everyone has access to a safe, healthy and affordable food supply. If you want to learn more about agriculture or our operation, please don’t hesitate to contact me on this blog or at katie.sawyer@sawyerlandandcattle.com. I would love to show you around.
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By Katie Stockstill-Sawyer
July 17, 2013 12:01 a.m.



I did it, I got in my first fight. Not a fist fight, mind you. But a Twitter fight, the 140-character back-and-forth on my phone with two individuals I have never met, will never meet but know I do not see eye-to-eye with. 

It started with a Tweet to a reporter I heard comment on the farm bill, calling it a hand out for farmers that are getting rich off government subsidies. I simply responded that the statement wasn’t true. Three hours later, and a few more participants, we were still debating the purpose of the farm bill and the need for farming in general. 

It’s hard to summarize a complex issue like the farm bill in 140 characters but what I can tell you is that the farm bill is agriculture policy not a government hand out. Farmers look to the farm bill for guidelines when making planting decisions, purchasing insurance and planning irrigation and conservation changes. 

The farm bill does include grant programs designed to entice farmers to upgrade to more efficient watering systems or preserve waterways and terraces for wildlife and nature. And crop insurance is one of the best risk management tools, allowing farmers to protect their investments and secure a future – in the event Mother Nature strikes. 

Farmers do not and cannot get rich on the farm bill alone and do not look to the legislation for hand outs and free money. Without a farm bill, the agriculture industry is left without a road map and policy guidance. The crop insurance program could be destroyed and conservation efforts could be undone without the legislation. The United States Department of Agriculture could be at risk of disappearing and agriculture rules and regulations would be left to agencies that have time and again proven they have no understanding of agriculture and rural America. 

American citizens spend only 10% of their income on food because the farm bill has allowed the country to create and sustain a dependable and affordable food supply. Eliminating the 50-plus year-old legislation would put that supply in jeopardy and leave farmers and their crops susceptible to natural disasters that would eliminate their farm, their way of life and ability to continue growing food. 

If you want to eat and want to continue enjoying your $1 cheeseburgers, Congress must pass a farm bill. Farmers need the policy and guidance that comes with the legislation and consumers need affordable, reliable food. 

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