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Agricultural News

House Ag Committee Field Hearings Continue- Next Up is Lubbock.

Sun, 16 May 2010 20:14:28 CDT

House Ag Committee Field Hearings Continue- Next Up is Lubbock. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson held a field hearing in Troy, Alabama over the weekend on Saturday to review U.S.
agriculture policy as the Committee begins the process of writing the 2012 Farm Bill. This is the sixth in a series of hearings
scheduled across the country to consider new ideas regarding Federal food and farm policy. Six Members of Congress attended today's
hearing and heard testimony from nine witnesses on a variety of farm policy issues. We have an audio overview of the Field hearing- click on the Listen Bar below to hear our report from Stewart Doan. Doan reports that farmers spoke of the problem of lack of profitability in growing many crops at this time- and that the only part of the farm bill that works for southern farmers and has provided any assistance has been direct payments.

"Alabama's agriculture producers have diversified and modernized their operations, and their deep experience in farming has provided
the Committee with good perspective about how the Farm Bill is working in the region," Chairman Peterson said. "This dialogue with
farmers, ranchers and others who use Farm Bill programs is an important part of our effort to be sure that we write a useful and
responsive bill."

According to U.S Department of Agriculture statistics, Alabama ranks fourth in the nation in poultry and egg production as well as
sixth in aquaculture products. More than 768,000 acres of land in Alabama are enrolled in USDA conservation programs.

There was a lot of conversation during the hearing about Federal Crop Insurance, with farmers telling members of Congress that they are afraid that if too many dollars are taken away from Crop Insurance by the Obama Administration, that it will be harder than ever for many southern crops to be properly insured.

Approximately 150 members of the community attended the hearing, including local agriculture producers and leaders. House
Agriculture Committee Members attending the hearing included: Chairman Peterson; Congressman Bobby Bright of Alabama; Congressman
Bob Goodlatte of Virginia who serves as the Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit,
Energy and Research; Congressman Mike Rogers of Alabama; Congressman Adrian Smith of Nebraska, and Congressman Glenn Thompson of

"I would like to thank my colleagues for attending this very important hearing on the Farm Bill," Congressman Bobby Bright said.
"The Second District of Alabama's farmers grow more cotton and peanuts than almost anywhere else in the entire country and produce
many other crops and livestock. Since the Farm Bill governs agriculture policy in the United States, it is very important for
lawmakers to hear from those whom the bill directly affects. I would also like to thank the witnesses who helped make this hearing a
success. I look forward to taking their input into consideration as we begin debate on the reauthorization of the Farm Bill."

"The Farm Bill is vital to our rural and agricultural sectors and I am looking forward to being a part of the Field Hearings across
the country and pleased to be co-hosting one in Alabama," said Congressman Mike Rogers. "It should provide important insight we can
bring back to Washington as we prepare to write this bill."

Next up is the seventh Field Hearing for the Committee- this one to be held on the campus of Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas- Monday Morning May 17th at 9:00 AM.

Here is the witness list as provided by the House Ag Committee website:

Panel I

Mr. Brad Bouma, dairy producer, Plainview, Texas

Mr. Jimbo Grissom, peanut producer, Seminole, Texas

Mr. John Lackey, citrus producer, Weslaco, Texas

Mr. Ronnie Holt, cotton, corn, and sorghum producer and crop insurance agent, Muleshoe, Texas

Mr. Joe Parker, Jr., cattle producer, Byers, Texas

Mr. Dale Murden, sugarcane, citrus, vegetable, soybean and sorghum producer, Monte Alto, Texas

Panel II

Mr. Billy Bob Brown, irrigated and dryland wheat, sorghum and beef producer, Panhandle, Texas

Mr. Brad Heffington, cotton, corn, and sorghum producer, Littlefield, Texas

Mr. David Cleavinger, wheat, corn, cotton, and grain sorghum producer, Wildorado, Texas

Mr. Lowell Raun, Jr., rice producer, El Campo, Texas

Mr. Doyle Schniers, cotton producer, San Angelo, Texas

Mr. Dan Smith, sorghum producer, Lockney, Texas

Mr. Dee Vaughan, corn, soybean, wheat, cotton, and sorghum producer, Dumas, Texas

Click here to go to the House Ag Committee website for the opportunity to listen to the webcast of the field hearing in Lubbock.


Stewart Doan reports on the Saturday May 15 Hearing in Troy, Alalbama.
right-click to download mp3


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