Press Releases

House Agriculture Committee Prepares for Farm Bill by Exploring Economic Outlook in Rural America

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Washington, February 15, 2017 | comments

Today, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to review the economic challenges facing rural America. Members heard from several witnesses who highlighted these factors, including low farm commodity prices, declining net farm income, tightening credit conditions, a strong dollar, and unfair trade practices by foreign competitors.

“There is real potential for a crisis in rural America,” said Chairman K. Michael Conaway. “Net farm income for America's farmers and ranchers has fallen 50 percent over the past four years with the collapse in commodity prices. As we begin the farm bill process, these economic realities must be front and center. The farm bill serves as a safety net for producers, helping manage risk in difficult times. We are in those times now, and we must deliver solutions that work for our nation’s farmers and ranchers.”

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
Dr. Robert Johansson, Chief Economist, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC

Dr. Nathan Kauffman, Assistant Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive, Omaha Branch - Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Omaha, NE

Dr. Joe Outlaw, Professor and Extension Economist, Texas A&M University, Department of Agricultural Economics, College Station, TX

Dr. Patrick Westhoff, Professor, Director for the Food and Agricultural Research Institute, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Dr. D. Scott Brown, Assistant Extension Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
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Tags: Farm Bill