Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-Ga.) voted against legislation Wednesday that, according to Carter, fails to support a critical part of the First District of Georgia’s agricultural community. After months of negotiations by Carter, the Agriculture Improvement Act, also known as the Farm Bill, did not include the adequate crop assistance Georgia’s blueberry farmers need to recover from the devastating winter in 2017.
“I certainly wanted to vote in support of the Farm Bill today,” said Carter. “As Georgia’s top industry, the hard work of our farmers, ranchers and producers contributes to the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world. Our agricultural community needs and deserves the long-term certainty of a sound Farm Bill. Unfortunately, the Farm Bill brought to the House floor today was not one I could support. It simply does not support Georgia growers.
“Georgia has risen to become one of the top blueberry producing states in the nation. Now, the commodity is a $1 billion industry in our state and is the backbone of some of our rural communities. However, in 2017, blueberries were hit with a devastating freeze combined with warm winter weather which dramatically harmed the crops. This is not only debilitating for our growers, but also the local economies that depend on them.
“I have been fighting for assistance for these growers and communities since I learned of the situation. I had planned to vote yes on this Farm Bill today, but without this critical assistance that we have been fighting for and have been promised, I could not in good faith lend my support.
“Now, the fight is not over. I will continue working to secure assistance for one of our largest commodities in the First District, while also continuing to support our entire agricultural community.”
The Farm Bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week.