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Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column: Give Thanks for Arkansas Farmers

Give Thanks for Arkansas Farmers

It is no secret to most Arkansans that poultry is a major driver of the economy in the Natural State, but did you know that Arkansas’ Fourth District is also one of the nation’s top producers of Thanksgiving turkeys? 

This Thanksgiving, I am especially thankful for the meaningful contribution of Arkansas’ Fourth District to the nation’s economy. From Thanksgiving turkeys to timber, America relies on Arkansas farmers, producers, and ranchers to provide many of the basic goods enjoyed by Americans every day. Our agriculture workers never get a day off. Through rain, sleet, hail, and heat, farmers take care of their animals and their crops, often with little thanks or recognition. It is only because of their hard work that we have bursting grocery stores and enough left over to export around the world.

I will never forget visiting the farm of a Fourth District constituent last year on my yearly agriculture tour. In the middle of the tour, his neighbor and fellow farmer, who had joined the tour, got news that his crop was completely destroyed in a passing hailstorm. The crop was scheduled to be harvested in the next couple of days. The farmer was distraught telling me about how this meant he would be unable to pay back his loan. This is farmers’ hard reality. Their livelihoods are at the mercy of the elements.

Besides the usual risks, farmers and producers have faced serious challenges over the past two years in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, a supply chain crisis, low labor engagement, and high inflation. High input costs have put significant strain on their businesses and forced farmers to raise their prices. I am committed to supporting farmers at the federal level however possible, including introducing bills in the 118th Congress to unleash American energy independence and bring down energy costs. While one party rule in Washington, D.C., has made it impossible to bring these bills to the floor for consideration, I have made it one of my top priorities in the new Congress under a Republican majority to ensure these issues receive proper attention and action. 

As we gather with friends and family this holiday, don’t forget to give thanks for the hardworking and dedicated farmers who made the feast possible. Our nation is forever grateful for the Fourth District farmers and producers who keep America fed, clothed, housed, and thriving.

 

11-18-22 2:45 PM KAWX.ORG