Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Sectors Air Concerns About Tight Feed Grain Supplies

Sep 14, 2011

Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Thomas Rooney, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry held a public hearing to examine the issue of feed availability and its effect on the livestock, dairy, and poultry industries.

Feed accounts for a major component of food animal production - 50 to 80 percent depending on the species. The U.S. livestock, dairy, and poultry industries are confronting tight feed supplies. Many analysts believe this is going to be a persistent challenge for the next several years. This year a widespread drought across parts of the country has only compounded the problem. Members of the Subcommittee heard testimony from representatives of every sector of the animal agriculture industry who described how these conditions are causing stress.

"Our subcommittee began this Congress with a series of overview hearings that gave us some perspective about the production practices and public policy challenges of the animal agriculture community. At each of these hearings, we heard a good bit about the issue of feed availability, and I am pleased we had the opportunity today to examine that issue in greater detail," said Chairman Thomas Rooney (R-FL).

"California producers have always been extremely vulnerable to the fluctuations in feed prices. Prices have skyrocketed recently, especially harming our dairy, livestock, and poultry producers. It is time for Congress to stop picking winners and losers, which is causing a shortage of feed in our country," said Ranking Member Dennis Cardoza (D-CA).

Written testimony provided by the witnesses is linked below.

Witness List:

Panel I

Dr. Steven Roger Meyer, President, Paragon Economics, Adel, Iowa

Mr. Philip Greene, Vice President, Foster Farms Inc., Fresno, California

Mr. Ted Seger, President, Farbest Foods, Huntingburg, Indiana

Mr. Michael Welch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Harrison Poultry, Inc., Bethlehem, Georgia

Dr. Eric Erba, Senior Vice President for Administrative Affairs, California Dairies, Inc., Visalia, California

Mr. Randy Spronk, Pork Producer, Spronk Brothers III LLP, Edgerton, Minnesota