LUBBOCK, Texas — U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) came to Lubbock on Wednesday morning to engage in a discussion with agricultural leaders from around the South Plains. He met with the farmers and ranchers at the National Heritage Ranching Center alongside Senator John Boozman (R-Arkansas) to listen to what they need to see in the upcoming farm bill.

A new farm bill is in the works since the current one will expire on September 30. Cruz said he expects the new bill to be passed by the end of the year, however, discussion about what should be in this new farm bill is still ongoing.

At Wednesday’s roundtable discussion, farmers like Walt Hagood expressed needs such as better crop insurance and higher reference prices to provide a safety net for them when times get hard.

Hagood said farmers around West Texas have been enduring high inflation rates and harsh weather, but they don’t have a sufficient safety net in the current farm bill.

“We have volatility in the markets, weather volatility and the process is just too much to overcome sometimes,” Hagood said.

Hagood, who has been a cotton farmer for 44 years, said he is worried about future generations of farmers being able to even start farming if the safety net doesn’t improve because of how much it costs to be a farmer.

However, Cruz assured the issues would be solved in the new bill.

“I believe in the farm bill. We’re gonna get crop insurance, we’re gonna get that taken care of. There’s going to be bipartisan agreement. It’s gonna be a lot of work. John’s gonna work hard on it, I’m gonna work hard on it.” Cruz said.

Cruz said he wants to make sure West Texas farmers stay strong and are able to continue doing their jobs.

“We need to make sure that America can provide for our own needs. That means ensuring that farmers and ranchers can survive and can prosper,” Cruz said.