Posted: July 25, 2011
* Update 1/18/12: Regarding the title and content of this post, we have to admit the author of this post made a mistake. We know there are other members of Congress actively involved in agriculture, and we are glad that Politifact helped set the record straight on a blog post written six months ago.
Farmers have at least one friend in Congress these days in Representative Stephen Fincher (R-TN), who *in an address to the 2011 Southern Peanut Growers Conference said he was the “working farmer currently serving in the House.”*
“We’re 7th generation cotton farmers from the Frog Jump community in West Tennessee and still actively farm,” Rep. Fincher told me in an interview. “It’s an honor to serve in Washington and represent rural ag communities.”
Fincher is one of the freshman class in Congress that is shaking up the status quo in the Capitol and he is very concerned about cuts in agriculture funding being considered on the federal level. “Farmers understand that we’ve all got to tighten our belts a little bit, but we can’t kid ourselves and think that we can balance the budget on the back of one percent of the budget, which is what ag gets.”
Because of the current hot political climate in Washington, Fincher would like to see the current Farm Bill extended until after the 2012 election when cooler heads might prevail. “Where we could sit down and have a reasonable discussion about our next 5-6 years in the ag world,” he said. “I’m afraid from some of the comments made by some of our colleagues in Washington that they want to slash and burn the Farm Bill on the ag side!”
Listen to my interview with Rep. Fincher here: Congressman Stephen Fincher