Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on specialty crop growers. Specifically, Subcommittee Members addressed growing concerns that DOL is using the "Hot Goods" provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) in an arbitrary manner against producers of perishable agricultural commodities without regard for the inevitable destruction of the product and significant economic hardship inflicted on farmers and their employees.
The Ag Minute: Next Farm Bill Should Prioritize Programs Most Effective for Farmers
Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Jerry Moran, member of the House Agriculture Committee, discusses the Agriculture Committee's field hearings in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill and the importance of prioritizing programs that are most effective for farmers.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"Recently, the House Agriculture Committee began hearings in advance of writing the 2012 Farm Bill.
"The Committee will gather information from farmers and ranchers to determine which parts of the farm safety net work, and which parts need to be improved. Not only will the Committee consider input from producers, but it also must account for the federal budget deficits and existing trade obligations.
"With an out-of-control federal debt, Committee members are going to be expected to do more with less. In addition, the Committee must keep in mind that the future safety net must be consistent with our existing trade obligations. This is especially important in light of the recent agreement with Brazil to delay retaliatory tariffs associated with the Brazilian cotton case.
"The Agriculture Committee must prioritize which parts of the farm safety net are most effective for farmers and also which can withstand a WTO challenge. Two programs that should not be overlooked are crop insurance and the direct payment program. Both are trade compliant, both offer maximum flexibility to the producer, and both provided real support to producers last year when farm incomes declined.
"As this process moves forward, it’s important for Congress to work toward a farm bill that gives America’s farmers the opportunity to prosper and to return another generation of Americans to the family farm."
The Ag Minute is Ranking Member Lucas's weekly radio address that is released every week from the House Agriculture Committee Republicans.