Roberts Regrets Gridlock, Salutes ‘Freedom to Farm’

Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts, retiring after 40 years in Congress, last week urged more civility and friendship among lawmakers in his farewell speech.

Roberts may be most proud of his prominent role in passing the 1996 farm bill that, for the most part, ended federal control over what crops farmers grow. “To this day, farmers have the freedom to farm what they want,” said Roberts, referring to the bill’s nickname.

Roberts had a hand in eight farm bills during 16 years in the House and 24 years in the Senate and is the only person to chair the agriculture committees in both chambers.

“Sadly, gridlock appears to be the new normal,” he said of the polarized politics now in force. “It doesn’t have to be that way…We don’t have to let the apparent gravitational pull of more and more politics in the pursuit of power change what our founders gave us—the creation of a nation of liberty and freedom, the envy of the world—and literally move the United States Senate from its moorings of a historically great past to simply be a rubber stamp for radical change. Let us once again become a body of respect, humility, cooperation, achievement, and, yes, friendship.”

Source: Successful Farming