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Agricultural News


First Two House Ag Field Hearings Done- Committee Travels on to California for Monday Hearing

Sun, 02 May 2010 20:39:55 CDT

First Two House Ag Field Hearings Done- Committee Travels on to California for Monday Hearing On Saturday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson held a field hearing in Nampa, Idaho to review U.S. agriculture policy as the Committee begins the process of writing the 2012 Farm Bill. This is the second in a series of hearings scheduled across the country to consider new ideas regarding Federal food and farm policy. Six Members of Congress attended Saturday's hearing and heard testimony from ten witnesses on a variety of farm policy issues. Still to come on this current trip are stops on Monday in Fresno, California and on Tuesday in Cheyenne, Wyoming. This past Friday, the Committee held the first of eight Field hearings currently scheduled on Ag Policy issues in Des Moines, Iowa. Details on that hearing are below the details of the Idaho hearing in this story.


"Farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in Idaho produce a wide variety of agricultural products, and their experiences with so many of the programs authorized by the Farm Bill are essential as we move forward with a new Farm Bill," said Chairman Peterson. "I am impressed by the innovation and ingenuity that we have seen from Idaho producers, and their input will help us develop a Farm Bill that will provide the best possible safety net."



According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, Idaho ranks first in the nation among states growing potatoes and second in harvested vegetables for sale. More than 900,000 acres of land in Idaho are enrolled in USDA conservation programs.



"We must make sure that our producers are equipped with an adequate safety net to provide Americans with the food and fiber they need," said Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas of Oklahoma. "As we travel throughout the nation, the feedback we receive from our producers will give us a good sense of how current farm bill programs work in practice and what improvements need to be made."



About 100 members of the community attended the hearing, including local agriculture producers and leaders. House Agriculture Committee Members attending the hearing included: Chairman Peterson, Ranking Member Lucas, Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota, Congressman Jim Costa of California, and Congressman Walt Minnick of Idaho. Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, also attended the hearing.



"Idaho agriculture has long been innovative and at the forefront of the industry. I am pleased that our leaders had the opportunity to share their experiences and showcase the diversity of the Idaho agricultural community at today's hearing," Congressman Minnick said. "Our farmers are being recognized for their successes. It is important that the people who are impacted by the Farm Bill shape its future. Today, more than ever, our farmers face unprecedented pressures. Hearing from them early is critical to getting the next farm bill right."



"Agriculture plays a critical role in our state's economy, and the Farm Bill significantly impacts the ability of Idaho farmers to succeed in the present and plan for the future," said Congressman Simpson. "I am hopeful that today's hearing provided the House Agriculture Committee with good insight into how these programs impact our state's potato, sugar, grain, dairy, and cattle industries, as well as Idaho's specialty crops. I have always appreciated Chairman Peterson's insistence that our nation's farm policy be developed in a bipartisan way, and I look forward to working with him to craft a Farm Bill that provides a firm footing for Idaho agriculture in the years to come."



Written testimony provided by the witnesses is available on the Committee website. Click here for that written testimony.


A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website at a later date.


Witness List

Panel I
. Mr. Fred Brossy, organic wheat, bean, potato and hay producer, Shoshone, Idaho . Mr. Scott Brown, wheat and barley producer, Soda Springs, Idaho . Mr. Doug Gross, potato producer, Wilder, Idaho . Mr. Kelly Henggeler, apple, plum and peach producer and packer, Fruitland, Idaho . Mr. Galen Lee, sugarbeet, mint, asparagus, hay, grain, corn and cattle producer, New Plymouth, Idaho . Mr. Brian Kernohan, forestry, Coeur d' Alene, Idaho

Panel II
. Mr. Ron Bitner, winegrape producer and vintner, Caldwell, Idaho . Mr. Charlie Lyons, cattle producer, Mountain Home, Idaho . Mr. Adrian Boer, dairy producer, Jerome, Idaho . Ms. Cindy Siddoway, lamb producer, Terreton, Idaho


**************************


This past Friday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson held a field hearing in Des Moines, Iowa to review
U.S. agriculture policy as the Committee begins the process of writing the 2012 Farm Bill. This is the first in a series of hearings
scheduled across the country to consider new ideas regarding Federal food and farm policy. Seven Members of Congress attended today's
hearing and heard testimony from nine witnesses on a variety of farm policy issues.



"As we begin the process of developing the next Farm Bill, I am glad that we are starting in Iowa where innovations and agriculture
have always gone hand-in-hand," Chairman Peterson said. "Producers here are on the cutting edge, and I hope that they will help us
explore new ideas and new opportunities to ensure the continued success of agriculture and rural America."



According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average farm in Iowa sells about $220,000 worth of product each year. Iowa
ranks first in the nation for corn and soybean production and is the top hog and egg producing state. More than 1.63 million acres
of land in Iowa are enrolled in USDA conservation programs. Additionally, Iowa also produces more ethanol than any other state in
the nation, more than 3.5 million gallons per year.



"I am pleased to be a part of the first set of farm bill field hearings to discuss the future of U.S. agriculture policy. Today was
a good start in the process," said Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas of Oklahoma. "I look forward to listening to and
learning from our producers to ensure that American agriculture remains competitive and our farmers and ranchers have the tools they
need to provide a safe, affordable, and wholesome food supply."



More than 100 members of the community attended the hearing, including local agriculture producers and leaders. Many more watched
the hearing online via a live video feed on the House Agriculture Committee's website. House Agriculture Committee Members attending
the hearing included: Chairman Peterson, Ranking Member Lucas, Congressman Leonard Boswell of Iowa, who serves as Chairman of the
Agriculture Committees' Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of
South Dakota, Congressman Jim Costa of California, and Congressman Steve King of Iowa. Congressman Tom Latham of Iowa, who serves on
the House Appropriations Committee also attended the hearing.



"Today's field hearing was an important opportunity for my fellow Members of the Agriculture Committee and me to hear from the very
farmers, producers and agriculture players in Iowa who are impacted by the farm bill," said Congressman Boswell. "The Committee and
I greatly appreciate the witnesses who took time away from their fields and businesses to share their valuable feedback on what
programs are working and what still can be done in the 2012 Farm Bill."



"I would like to thank the Chairman for initiating this hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill. It is better to be early than to be late,"
said Congressman King. "With corn planting recently concluded and soybean planting starting up in a short time, this is a good time
for this hearing. The 2012 Farm Bill will be extremely important to Iowans, and I look forward to an interesting and productive
discussion."



Written testimony provided by the witnesses is available on the Committee website: Click here for that written testimony.




   

 

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