USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack Wednesday made a special plea to all of agriculture's social media users – tell Congress about the importance of the farm bill through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or a blog.
"Time is running out for Congress to pass a Food, Farm and Jobs bill," Vilsack said in a video posted on the USDA's latest social media channel, Instagram. "Use #MyFarmBill to let us know how this bill affects you and your community."
The USDA issued a similar call last December just prior to the one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill. That extension will expire Sept. 30.
Though the Senate moved forward with their version of the bill earlier this summer, the House has yet to muster a full bill, passing only farm-related measures and leaving food stamps behind just before summer recess.
With legislators set to return to Washington D.C. next week, there has yet to be a firm plan from House leaders on a way forward. According to local reports, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has suggested passing a nutrition title and moving on with a conference, however later statements suggested Cantor is not ready to make such a move.
Regardless, Vilsack has continued his call throughout the month of August, bringing the farm bill discussion in wherever possible. He has noted that there could be big issues with the lack of a bill, including trade implications and market share losses – aside from the producer-centered issues that are crop insurance and disaster provisions.