Press Releases

Former Military Leaders Highlight the Importance of Agriculture and National Security

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Washington, July 7, 2016 | comments

Today, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to examine the on-the-ground experiences of former military leaders and the connection between agricultural policy and national security. This is the fifth hearing in the committee’s hearing series focused on national security. Members heard from a panel of former military leaders who described how the United States' investment in transportation and infrastructure, agricultural research and innovation, and risk management tools for farmers has led to a vibrant and stable agricultural industry in the U.S., which is inexplicably linked to our national security. The panel also cautioned that an insufficient focus on agriculture has led to detrimental effects on the security and stability of countries around the world. 

“A strong military and sound agricultural policies are pillars of our national security. The men and women of America’s armed services regularly witness food insecurity around the world, and today we heard from former military leaders who shared their accounts of the tremendous instability that occurs in countries where agriculture development is not a priority. The United States is consistently ranked as one of the most food secure nations in the world, which is why it’s important we understand the factors that threaten national and global markets. Sound farm policy is, and continues to be, an integral piece of our ability to prevent food insecurity in this country. I want to thank our panel for sharing their on-the ground experiences and giving us an enhanced global perspective of the importance of maintaining and protecting a safe food supply,” said Chairman K. Michael Conaway.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses from today’s hearing is linked below. Click here for more information, including Chairman Conaway's opening statement and the archived webcast.

Witness List: 
Panel I
Major General James R. Sholar, US Army (Ret.), Stillwater, OK

Major General Darren G. Owens, US Army (Ret.), Bryan, TX

Colonel Eric D. Ahlness, US Army (Ret.), White Bear Lake, MN

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