(WIVT/WBGH) – The Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture stopped in Binghamton this morning to listen to the public’s thoughts on agriculture.

The Farm Bill sets agricultural, food, and nutritional policies throughout the country.

Every five years the bill expires and gets reformed based upon feedback from the public and trends in the industry.

The chairman of the committee, Glenn Thompson, tours the country and holds listening to sessions for stakeholders to share what they believe should be prioritized in the next rendition of the bill.

Congressman Marc Molinaro organized the event and says that he wanted to be on the Ag Committee specifically to be a part of the Farm Bill process.

Congressman Marc Molinaro says, “The Farm Bill comes up once every five years and its our job now to evolve and evaluate American agriculture policy and how we can use the Farm Bill to support not only upstate farmers and America’s farmers, but also, those who struggle with food insecurity and the need for quality nutrition, and how we bring those things together.”

Several speakers addressed the aging population in the industry, saying that the average age of a farmer in America is over 59 years old.

Matt Hollenbeck, the owner of Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill, urged the committee to make land more affordable and accessible for young, beginner farmers.

He says that he received every dollar possible through loans when purchasing his land, and yet, he was still short $50,000 due to the real estate market.

Owner of Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill, Matt Hollenbeck says, “It should not be a requirement for people who are called to farm to have those resources. We need to make sure that we provide easy credit for young and beginning farmers.”

An associate dean at the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Jan Nyrop, says that about a decade ago, the EU and China surpassed the U.S. in public research expenditures.

He urged the committee to put more funding into research and development.

Associate Dean at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Jan Nyrop says, “Increase agricultural research funding from 2 to 4 percent out of the Farm Bill, invest more in fruits in vegetables, which, are essentially are a basis for long term health, invest in research that provides for a more equitable food system.”

The Farm Bill is set to expire at the end of September.

You can leave the Committee feedback by visiting Agriculture.House.gov and click on 2023 Farm Bill.