Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184
WASHINGTON – Rep. Frank Lucas, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, issued the following statement as the American Farm Bureau Federation concludes its 92nd annual meeting.
"I commend the American Farm Bureau Federation and all of its members for the work they do on behalf of America’s farmers and ranchers. The Farm Bureau continues to be a strong advocate for our producers and continues to provide common sense solutions to the issues facing rural America.
"The resolutions AFBF passed during the annual meeting will serve as an important guide as we begin the process of reauthorizing the farm bill in 2012. We share a belief that a strong safety net for our farmers and ranchers is essential for producing an abundant and affordable food and fiber supply. The 2012 farm bill faces clear budget challenges and I encourage all involved to begin thinking about how we address these challenges in the most fiscally responsible way.
"I want to commend the Farm Bureau for taking a strong stance on one of the most significant issues facing American agriculture: the hostile regulatory approach of the EPA. As the new Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, I pledge to hold vigorous oversight of the administration on a number of issues that threaten the livelihoods of our farmers and ranchers.
"I welcome the Farm Bureau’s continued efforts to rein in the EPA’s aggressive attempt to impose new regulations on agricultural production throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, which has far reaching consequences for the entire U.S. We all support the goal of achieving clean water, but EPA is moving forward with accelerated and questionable regulations without considering the consequences for farmers and rural communities or without considering the ongoing conservation measures our producers are using to improve water quality.
"I am ready to work with the American Farm Bureau Federation, its members, and all others who are committed to ensuring the success of American agriculture and rural economies."