House Agriculture Committee announces hearing series examining growing pressure in rural America
House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) announced today that the committee will begin a series of hearings titled Focus on the Farm Economy. Each of the six subcommittees will examine growing pressure in rural America from the perspective of the subcommittee. The first hearing in the series—Focus on the Farm Economy: Growing Farm Financial Pressure—will be this Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in 1300 Longworth before the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee. Over the past three years, net farm income has fallen by 56 percent, the largest three-year percentage decline in net farm income since the Great Depression.
Upon announcing the hearing, Chairman Conaway released the following statement:
“As chairman of this committee, I am increasingly concerned about the direction the farm economy is headed. With no relief in sight, it is more important now than ever that we protect the Farm Bill and push back against attacks on the risk management tools that are so vital in protecting our farms and ranches. It is also important for the committee to examine the broader impacts that this economic downturn is having. For example, the collapse in net farm income is leading to a significant reduction in equipment purchases, changes in food prices for consumers, serious impacts on creditors and their ability to cash flow producers, pressure to reduce voluntary conservation efforts to save money, reductions in the use of cutting edge technology, growing impacts of regulatory overreach on bottom lines, and increased damage from disproportionately large foreign agricultural subsidies. This downturn in the farm economy has sweeping consequences, and I look forward to having each of the subcommittees take a closer look at this important issue.”