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Federal officials hear farmer concerns at the World Ag Expo

Joshua Yeager
The Sierra Nevada is seen in the distance as the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif. is underway. The show attracts people from all over the world and just closed out its 56th year.

Read the transcript for this report below.

ELIZABETH ARAKELIAN, HOST: The population of Tulare temporarily doubled last week as visitors from all over gathered for the World Ag Expo. KVPR’s Joshua Yeager went inside and brings us this report.

JOSHUA YEAGER: Newly minted Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy opened this year’s farm show, along with several colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee.

The congressmen heard grower concerns during a live listening session as lawmakers begin drafting a new Farm Bill. The legislation must be re-approved every 5 years.

KEVIN MCCARTHY: Before you is not a bunch of Republican members of Congress. Before you is a bipartisan group of congressional members who are here to use their ears

YEAGER: California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson took advantage of those ears.

JAMIE JOHANSSON: Global pandemic, labor shortages, wildfires and other natural disasters...

YEAGER: He says those challenges have taken a huge toll on the state’s multi-billion-dollar ag industry.

But the news wasn’t all glum at the annual farm expo, now in its 56th year. Chairman George Pierce says apple-harvesting drones stole the show. And attendance records were broken this year. For KVPR News, I'm Joshua Yeager.

Joshua Yeager is a Report For America corps reporter covering Kern County for KVPR.