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.
Hearing to Review the State of the Rural Economy
March 5, 2013 - The House Agriculture Committee held a public hearing to review the state of the rural economy with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Tom Vilsack. In light of the March 1 effective date for the sequester, the primary topic of discussion was how USDA planned to implement the across-the-board spending cuts and what impact they would have on the agriculture sector. Members of the Committee asked the Secretary about his recent remarks that the sequester would cause meat inspector furloughs. Chairman Lucas also questioned if USDA, in preparation for the impact on food production and inspections, had made any requests to the House Appropriations Committee for flexibility or additional funds as it develops a Continuing Resolution for the remainder of FY2013.