Chairman Frank Lucas issued the following statement after the four principals met today to discuss outstanding issues relating to the farm bill.
Combest Plans Comprehensive Review of U.S. Farm Policy
Washington, D.C. — House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-TX) today announced his intention to convene a series of hearings early next year to evaluate various issues related to current and future American farm policy.
"The volatility of markets and the unpredictable nature of weather presents us with constant challenges in writing good agricultural policy," Combest said. "We simply don't need to wait for years between each Farm Bill to discuss these issues and we don't intend to. Instead, we need to stay on top of them constantly so we are ready to act when necessary. The past two years of crisis drives that point home."
Combest intends to hear from all those involved in agricultural policy including farmers, ranchers, agribusiness, and government officials. The hearings will begin soon after Congress reconvenes in January 2000, and will be comprehensive in nature, including, but limited to the farm programs, domestic and foreign markets, and the effects of government regulation.
"In the past few years, American farmers and ranchers have experienced historic changes in the way they do business," Combest said. "We have moved away from planting restrictions and government subsidies and the increasing globalization of the agricultural market has created new challenges and opportunities for farmers and ranchers. It's only common sense that we look into the effects of these changes to see whether current policy is meeting these demands."