“SNAP is essential in protecting the most vulnerable citizens during tough times, but we need to have a complete understanding of its mission and purpose.” That was the message from House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway this week as the committee began its top-to-bottom review of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as food stamps.
Committee Passes Halfway Point in Field Hearing Series
Today, the House Committee on Agriculture, led by Chairman Larry Combest (R-TX) convened in Kutztown, Pennsylvania for the sixth in a series of ten field hearings designed to give producers the opportunity to participate in the formulation of federal farm policies. On Saturday, April 1, the Committee convened in West Chester, Ohio.
The farm policy field hearing series has allowed Members of the Committee to hear from producers of virtually every crop and livestock variety. While these witnesses have consistently cited regulatory burdens, unfair foreign trade practices, and low prices as obstacles to their prosperity, they have often disagreed on what actions the federal government should take to combat these problems.
"We still have four field hearings to go, but I can see already that it will be difficult to reach a consensus solution that every region and every producer likes," said Chairman Combest (R-TX). "But, I'm still confident that we will come away from these hearings with a much better understanding of how federal policies affect and are perceived by American producers."
Producers may request to testify at the field hearing in their region by mailing a letter about their agricultural qualifications to the Chief Clerk of the House Committee on Agriculture, 1301 Longworth Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. Requests to testify must include the producer's name, address and phone number. The Official Record will also include farm policy plans if they are received by mail within 30 days after each regional hearing. Ten copies of the statements for the record should be mailed to the Committee's address in care of the Chief Clerk.
The House Agriculture Committee will convene the next producer field hearing in Sacramento, California on Monday, May 1. Hearings will then continue in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Tuesday, May 2; Boise, Idaho on Friday, May 12; and Peoria, Illinois on Saturday, May 13.
All regional hearings are carried as they occur on the House Agriculture Committee's web site.