Agriculture Subcommittee Holds Mid-Term Review of 2002 Farm Bill

May 20, 2004

WASHINGTON , D.C. - Congressman Jerry Moran, Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, today chaired a mid-term review of the 2002 Farm Security and Rural Investment Act. The hearing marked the second anniversary of the 2002 Farm Bill - a comprehensive law that has attempted to return income stability to U.S. farmers.

The subcommittee heard from high level officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as national farm and commodity organizations. A full witness list is attached. The hearing reviewed policies within the legislation as well as the performance of the programs.

"Although there was broad support for the current farm bill, concern was expressed over the consequences of weather-related production losses," Moran said. "Loss of farm income due to multi-year disaster must be addressed, most likely through changes in crop insurance."

As we mark the two-year anniversary of this Farm Bill, we hold this hearing to provide insight to the subcommittee on the policies and programs at work in this legislation, which will help us as we develop future farm policy," Moran said. "Today's witnesses indicate that because commodity prices are higher, we are spending less on farm programs. This is good news for our farmers as well as for American taxpayers."

Dr. Keith Collins, Chief Economist for USDA, indicated in his opening statement, "The 2002 Farm Bill was an outgrowth of concerns expressed by producers, consumers, agribusiness, rural communities and many other stakeholders. Two of those concerns were a desire for a stronger, built-in safety net that producers and their lenders could count on when market prices dropped to low levels and the need to have better tools for addressing resource concerns on working lands. While it may be premature to assess the 2002 Farm Bill's performance at the end of only its second year, there appears to be general agreement that the 2002 Farm Bill has put in place a set of programs that addresses both of those concerns."

Panel I

Dr. Keith Collins, Chief Economist, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington , D.C.

Panel II

Mr. Kenneth Dierschke, President, Texas Farm Bureau, representing the American Farm Bureau Federation, Waco , Texas

Mr. David J. Frederickson, President, National Farmers Union , St. Paul , Minnesota

Panel III

Mr. Mark Gage, President, National Association of Wheat Growers, Page, North Dakota

Mr. Dee Vaughan, President, National Corn Growers Association, Dumas, Texas

Mr. James Vorderstrasse, President, National Grain Sorghum Producers, Lubbock , Texas

Mr. Bryan Moery, Member of the Board, USA Rice Federation, Wynne , Arkansas

Mr. Bart Ruth, Past President, American Soybean Association, Rising City , Nebraska

Mr. Woody Anderson, Chairman, National Cotton Council, Colorado City , Texas

###