Farmers go to GA Peanut Show after the House passes assistance bill in Washington

GA Peanut Show

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - A bill to help farmers in Georgia and other states was approved on Thursday by the House in Washington D.C.

Just hours after the bill passed, more than 1,000 farmers were in Tifton to learn about the latest updates on farming techniques and technology.

House Bill 268 made it past the house Wednesday in Washington D.C. The bill was approved by a vote of 237 to 187.

The Supplemental Appropriations Act 2019 would give $3 billion in direct agriculture assistance for farmers in states hit by Hurricane Florence and Michael.

Georgia was one of the states that was hit the hardest.

“The original underlying bill start off was 1.1 billion, US congressman Sanford Bishop and Austin Scott offered an amendment on the floor that was accepted by the Congress,” said Bob Redding, Washington representative for peanut growers.

If the bill becomes law, lawmakers would work with the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Farm Service Agency for disaster assistance.

Lawmakers said Albany was hit the worst by Michael.

“Very helpful to peanut, cotton, fall vegetable and pecan growers. And as you know, the Albany area, all four of those commodities are prevalent,” said Redding.

To offset that loss, farmers came to the Georgia Peanut Show in Tifton for educational sessions, awards and technology updates just hours after the bill passed the house, for what they described as a difficult year.

“We’re now at 2019 looking at a new crop,” said Don Koehler, the executive director of the GA Peanut Commission and cotton farmer. “We want farmers to have something to give them a little bit of optimism and maybe to take home, hope for them, for the next year.”

Representatives said there are a lot of hiccups because of the government shutdown, so a lot of planning and discussions for the bill are in play.

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