skip to Main Content

Rep. Thompson Elected House Ag Committee Chair, 2023 Farm Bill Debate on the Horizon

DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton reported last week that, “Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson of Pennsylvania got the call Wednesday afternoon from a Republican steering committee that he would officially chair the House Agriculture Committee in the next Congress.”

Clayton explained that, “Just elected to his eighth term in Congress, Thompson has served as ranking member on the Agriculture Committee for the past two years. During that time, he visited more than 30 states talking and listening to others about challenges and needs in agriculture and rural America. He now will lead the committee with the GOP holding a slim majority and a chance to shape the next farm bill.”

The DTN article noted that, “Thompson said his first listening session as chairman will likely come the first weekend in January during the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

“‘We need to hear those voices from throughout rural America and make sure that we’re putting together a farm bill that really does a great job of basically restoring a robust rural economy, serving those hardworking families that provide us with food and fiber,’ Thompson said. ‘So, I’m looking forward to the honor and to the challenge.'”

Clayton pointed out that, “Thompson said the committee isn’t in a position to make decisions on commodity prices at the moment, but he would like to find a way for farmers to avoid repeated ad-hoc disaster bills. ‘We really haven’t had a robust discussion,’ he said. ‘You know, I’ve traveled around, but this needs to be a discussion that the entire committee — the Republicans and Democrats — are engaged in with the agriculture community.’

Ad-hoc disaster aid for farmers this year is projected at about $11.9 billion, down from $19 billion in 2021. Pandemic aid passed by Congress in 2020 topped $23.5 billion, according to USDA. All that spending was outside of traditional farm programs.

USDA- Economic Research Service Webinar: Farm Income and Financial Forecasts (December 1, 2022).

“Thompson said he would like to find a way that crop insurance supports farmers with those losses rather than relying on Congress to pass new aid programs. That would establish more reliability for both farmers and agricultural lenders, he said.”

Larry Lee reported last week at Brownfield that, “Thompson tells Brownfield he plans to audit agriculture programs to find unspent dollars, educate colleagues and the administration about how farmers positively impact climate and the economy, and he’ll try to get the farm bill done on time.”

Meanwhile, Chuck Abbott reported last week at Successful Farming Online that, “Climate mitigation is expected to be a leading issue when Congress updates farm policy in the new year. It is the only area assured of additional funding in the farm bill due in 2023. The climate, health, and tax law enacted in August appropriated $20 billion for USDA conservation programs with a priority on climate action.”

And Prairie Farmer writer Joshua Baethge reported last week that, “[Chuck Conner, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives President and CEO] identified four areas that will drive the farm bill debate: climate-related issues, the needs of urban versus rural areas, costs and nutrition. He notes that the four chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are experienced members that should be agreeable to working with producers. They include Thompson and ranking Democrat Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., along with Senators Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and John Boozman, R-Ark.”

“Farm Bill Primer: Budget Dynamics,” by Jim Monke. Congressional Research Service (October 17, 2022,

“According to [Conner], it remains to be seen whether this bill will go down as a ‘revolutionary’ overhaul or something less ambitious. One of the biggest issues the next congress will need to overcome is how farm bill money is allocated.

“Farm Bill Primer: Budget Dynamics,” by Jim Monke. Congressional Research Service (October 17, 2022,

“In 2018, 76% of farm bill funding went toward the supplemental nutrition program. That number is projected to hit 84% in 2023. Only 6% of funding will be allocated to crop insurance, with 5% going toward commodities and 4% to conservation.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

Back To Top