Farmers Say They Need An Effective Safety Net, Choice of Risk Management Tools & Regulatory Certainty During Arkansas Field Hearing

Mar 30, 2012

Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184

STATE UNIVERSITY, ARKANSAS – Today, Chairman Frank Lucas continued the House Agriculture Committee's field hearing series in State University, Arkansas. It was the third of four hearings to be held across the country throughout March and April to gather input in advance of writing the 2012 Farm Bill.

Members heard from Southeast producers of aquaculture, beef, and a variety of commodities, including rice and cotton, about the contributions U.S. agriculture has made to the U.S. economy. They explained that even during difficult economic times and catastrophic weather events, American farmers have continued to provide a safe, affordable, and stable food and fiber supply in no small part because of sound farm policy. They echoed the views of other witnesses from the past two field hearings by telling Committee Members that farmers need an effective safety net, a choice of risk management tools, and regulatory certainty.

"As we visit with producers from different regions of the country, the overriding message we're hearing is just how important it is to provide a choice of policy options in the next Farm Bill. In order for our farmers to be successful and continue to provide the quality food and fiber that we all expect and enjoy, we need to give them the necessary tools to manage risk no matter what type of crop they're growing," said Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK).

“Today’s hearing gave producers in my district a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation as new farm policy is being crafted. I thank Chairman Lucas and my friends on the House Agriculture Committee for coming to Jonesboro to learn more about mid-south agriculture and what we can do as a committee to ensure producers’ viability. The hearing today is one of only four field hearings in the entire country and will ensure that the 2012 Farm Bill represents the needs of Arkansas farmers,” said Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR).

Written testimony provided by the witnesses is linked below.

Witness List:

Panel I

Mr. L. Dow Brantley, rice, cotton, corn, and soybean producer, Brantley Farming Company, England, Arkansas

Mr. Randy Veach, cotton, rice, corn, wheat, and soybean producer, Manila, Arkansas

Mr. Paul T. Combs, rice, soybean, cotton, corn, and wheat producer, Sunrise Land Company, Kennett, Missouri

Mr. Bowen Flowers, cotton, corn, soybean, wheat, and rice producer, Clarksdale, Mississippi

Mr. Tim Burch, cotton and peanut producer, Burch Farms, Newton, Georgia

Panel II

Mr. David Hundley, rice, corn, and soybean producer, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Mr. Mike Freeze, aquaculture producer, Keo Fish Farm, Keo, Arkansas

Mr. Dan Stewart, cow calf producer, Mountain View, Arkansas

Mr. John E. Owen, rice, soybean, corn, and cotton producer, John and Annie Owen Farms, Rayville, Louisiana

Mr. Walter Corcoran, Jr., cotton, corn, peanut, soybean, grain sorghum, and cow calf producer, Eufaula, Alabama

Schedule for future field hearings:

Friday, April 20, 2012 – 9:00 a.m. CDT
Magouirk Conference Center
4100 W. Comanche
Dodge City, KS 67801