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: Not Everyone Farms, But Everyone Eats
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, Chairman Frank Lucas discusses the House Agriculture Committee's plan to hold a series of audit hearings on agricultural programs starting this week. The Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry will hold the first hearing tomorrow to examine conservation programs. The Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management will continue the series on Friday to examine crop insurance programs.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"This week the Agriculture Committee will kick off a series of fact finding hearings on farm policy.
"This audit of agricultural programs is the first step in the farm bill process. We are looking for a comprehensive picture of farm policy to determine how all our programs work together.
"We will examine how we are spending money, where the money is going, and whether the goals of each program are being met. We will look for duplication within issue areas to determine program overlap. We will scrutinize waste, fraud and abuse, and look for ways to build on the success USDA has already achieved.
"We have an obligation to taxpayers to ensure our resources are being spent wisely.
"Throughout this effort we must not forget a simple fact: not everyone farms, but everyone eats.
"Our farmers and ranchers continue to provide us with food and fiber every day despite dealing with measures beyond their control such as the uncertainties of weather patterns, markets, and foreign competition.
"Agricultural policy affects every American. It’s important to all of us that we get it right."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.