Whether your question is about "pork bellies" or the volume of an acre-foot of water -- (and why it matters) -- the House Agriculture Committee's Internet glossary of agriculture at agriculture.house.gov offers some of the answers. The agricultural glossary locates each term among more than 1,900 entries. Many of the terms are cross-referenced and linked to other entries.
Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-Texas) said the web site glossary may not make city dwellers into agricultural experts, but it will provide an improved understanding of farming and ranching.
"Better public understanding of agriculture leads to a better appreciation for the complicated business that starts each day at dawn in fields and pastures throughout rural America. Rural life looks very scenic when it's viewed through a car windshield, but only farmers and ranchers know first hand all the risks behind providing us with our main source of food and clothing. A search through this glossary is like stopping to ask a farmer a few simple questions and getting some sensible answers," said Combest.
At the request of the Agriculture Committee, the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress selected and defined the glossary terms to reflect their relevance to agriculture and recent changes in farm and food policies. The glossary also identifies acronyms, agencies, programs, and laws related to agriculture.
The agriculture.house.gov web site also carries each public proceeding of the Committee through an Internet audio connection. The web site also automatically responds to email requests for Committee hearing schedules and news releases, as well as posting witnesses' opening statements and complete transcripts of previous hearings.