Chairman Frank Lucas issued the following statement after the four principals met today to discuss outstanding issues relating to the farm bill.
Farm Policy Field Hearings Set for March, April and May
U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-Texas) and Ranking Minority Member Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas) today announced the schedule of farm policy field hearings in 10 cities in regions from March through May, encouraging producers to submit detailed proposals for agricultural policy. The regional hearings are convened exclusively for producers to describe specific policy issues and to respond to Ag Committee Members' questions about how producers want those problems addressed.
Locations and dates are designed to focus on the specific concerns of producers within each of the Plains, Midwest, Southeast, Northeast and Western regions in March, April and May.
Monday, March 6 in Lubbock, Texas
Friday, March 17 in Memphis, Tennessee
Saturday, March 18 in Auburn, Alabama
Hearings will then move to the following cities (listed alphabetically): Boise, Idaho; Kutztown, Pennsylvania; Peoria, Illinois; Raleigh, North Carolina; Sacramento, California; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and West Chester, Ohio.
All field hearings will be carried through the Ag Committee's web site -- agriculture.house.gov -- on the Internet.
"The House Ag Committee strongly encourages the men and women who manage their farming operations throughout the country to detail the specific changes needed in federal farm policy," said Chairman Combest. "Producers' financial futures are closely tied to government policies on agriculture -- a resulting lack of adequate safety net, lost market values, burdensome regulations, unfulfilled trade deals -- and these policies relate directly to the serious, practical problems that involved more than the farm bill. Throughout these hearings, Committee Members will listen closely for a consensus from farmers in order to identify specific changes that would not abandon popular policies, such as the producer's freedom to choose the crops they grow."
"While the American economy is booming the agriculture economy is hurting. These hearings are essential in determining firsthand what farmers and ranchers are experiencing and what we as policy makers can do to address the current crisis," said Rep. Stenholm. "And in anticipation of the next farm bill, it isn't too early to begin determining where we as a nation need to be moving in terms of our agriculture policy."