Agriculture Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Peanut Program: Subcommittee Chairman Jenkins Says ‘America’s Peanut Produces Took a Necessary Step in Helping Congress Change Their Program…’

Mar 11, 2004

Subcommittee Chairman Jenkins Says ‘America’s Peanut Produces Took a Necessary Step in Helping Congress Change Their Program…’

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Bill Jenkins, Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Specialty Crops and Foreign Agriculture Programs, convened a hearing today to review the peanut program..

Congress made historic changes to the peanut program in the Farm Security Act of 2002. A 1930’s depression era program was replaced with a peanut program for the 21st century. A supply management program using quotas was replaced with a program that gives a safety net to producers while also giving them the freedom to make production choices that best suit them for each particular year.

Jenkins opened the hearing by saying, “Peanut producers took a brave but necessary step in helping Congress change their program. I think Congress can be satisfied that we accomplished the goal of allowing the domestic peanut industry to stay vital far into the 21st century.”

“But, this does not mean the program is perfect. I understand that there are producers who feel the program does not give them an adequate safety net, and producers who feel the grading system is outdated and needs to be modified, and there are also questions about crop insurance for peanuts. This hearing gives us an opportunity to hear from those most affected by these changes.”

The hearing featured three panels including:

Panel I
Mr. Floyd D. Gaibler, Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, Washington, D.C.

Panel II
Mr. Billy Bain, President, Virginia Peanut Growers Association, Franklin, Virginia

Mr. Jimmy Cheney, Chairman, Georgia Peanut Commission, Edison, Georgia, on behalf of the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation

Mr. Ted Higginbottom, President, Western Peanut Growers Association, Seminole, Texas

Mr. Robert R. Sutter, CEO, North Carolina Growers Association, Nashville, North Carolina

Panel III
Mr. Evans J. Plowden, Jr., General Counsel, American Peanut Shellers Association, Inc., Albany, Georgia

Mr. Ben Smith, Manager of Peanut/Candy Operations, Tom's Foods, Columbus, Georgia, on behalf of the American Peanut Product Manufacturers, Inc.