Rep. Dave Loebsack, of Mount Vernon, who represents residents in Iowa's District 2, which includes Appanoose County, paid a visit to Centerville Friday that was announced to the press approximately 24-hours before the visit.
Eight did attend Loebsack's "Investing in Iowa's Rural Economy Tour" at the Iowa State University Extension office in Centerville that covered farm issues and the Affordable Care Act, casually known as ObamaCare.
After the meeting, one ISU Extension office worker questioned why it wasn't more advertised until she realized it was in Friday's Daily Iowegian. The Daily Iowegian first learned about Rep. Loebsack's Centerville visit Thursday morning and published it in its first available edition.
The 62 minute discussion started out on the Farm Bill, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Conservation Reserve Program.
The need for a Farm Bill was unanimous. How to get one done and what should be in it was a matter of difference.
Crop insurance stays by all accounts. High CRP rental rates were criticized as was SNAP.
Dan Furlin, of Numa, said CRP rental rates are anywhere from $65 to $180 an acre, which harms cattleman and those who want to farm more acres but cannot compete with those prices.
"CRP is the biggest killer of rural development here in southern Iowa than there is of anything," Furlin said. "CRP is killing us."
CRP is a government program that pays farmers to not put land into agricultural production.
Loebsack called SNAP cuts "the elephant in the room" when it comes to how far apart the U.S. Senate and House are on the Farm Bill.
"But I can tell you, if we don't resolve that issue, I don't know how we get a five-year Farm Bill per se," Loebsack said.
The difference is the House now wants $39 billion over 10 years in SNAP cuts and the Senate is holding to its original $4-4 1/2 billion in cuts. The House at one time had asked for $21 1/2 billion in SNAP cuts.