Roby addresses young farmers

Published 11:04 pm Wednesday, August 28, 2013

U.S. Representative Martha Roby was the guest speaker at the Alabama Young Farmers District Seven Meeting at Cattleman Park Tuesday night.

Young farmers from the Wiregrass area took advantage of the opportunity to hear comments on the Farm Bill from Roby, who serves on the House Committee on Agriculture, and to individually voice their concerns.

Roby told the gathering of young farmers that she voted for the revised Farm Bill because it protects Alabama farmers and moves federal agriculture policy in the right direction.

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“But, I fear that we missed an opportunity to reform a mandatory government spending program,” she said.

As the Farm Bill is passed back and forth in Congress, no one knows where it will land but Roby said her support of agriculture is strong and unwavering. She is committed to the fight for farmers.

She expressed appreciation to the young farmers who had taken time to come together in support of Alabama agriculture.

“This is biggest group of young farmers that I have been around since I took office,” she said. “I want you to know that whatever problems you have, big or small, we’re here for you.

“And, I want you to help me have the best understanding of what it’s like to walk in your shoes. I appreciate all the time you take to help me better understand.”

Roby said that she has been shocked at the large number of members of Congress who don’t know or acknowledge where their food comes from because they are not in agricultural districts.

“Somebody grew that food,” she said and adding laughing that she eats everything except boiled okra. On a serious note, Roby added, “Agriculture is a matter of national security because Americans feed Americans.”

Grant Lyons, Pike County Extension coordinator, expressed appreciation to Roby for taking time to meet with the Young Farmers of District 7.

“The attendance topped 80 and that was very encouraging,” Lyons said. “Our farmers know they have the support of Congressman Roby. She is a strong supporter of agriculture in general and specifically here in Alabama. They trust her to do the right thing for them.

“We all know that things don’t always work out from a Congressional standpoint but we know that she’s there working in our best interests. We were all thrilled to have her here.”

Lyons said that he agrees with Roby that a positive future for agriculture depends on the agricultural community getting involved early.

“Our young farmers need to be involved in the political side of things because agriculture is affected by politics,” he said.