Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on specialty crop growers. Specifically, Subcommittee Members addressed growing concerns that DOL is using the "Hot Goods" provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) in an arbitrary manner against producers of perishable agricultural commodities without regard for the inevitable destruction of the product and significant economic hardship inflicted on farmers and their employees.
Progress of Agricultural Risk Protection Act Reviewed
Feburary 13, 2002.— A year and a half after the implementation of the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000 (ARPA), the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management met to assess the progress of the implementation of the Act.
As ARPA was being developed, farmers across the country emphasized the need for the inclusion of several key provisions in the legislation. These provisions include: better coverage at more affordable prices, better access to revenue coverage; protection against the effect of multiple year disasters on Actual Production History; more coverage options; and a reduction in fraud, waste and abuse of the program.
Subcommittee Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) noted that since the enactment of ARPA "a lot of time, money, and work have been invested by the Risk Management Agency, the Farm Service Agency, and industry into the ongoing implementation of this law. Reforms in ARPA have strengthened the federal crop insurance program. It has become a successful, popular risk management tool for producers, and we hope to continue to see more producers utilize it."
Considerable progress has been made in implementing the objectives of ARPA in the year and a half since its enactment. Phyllis W. Honor, Acting Administrator for the Risk Management Agency (RMA), discussed this progress in testimony before the Subcommittee.
The Administration recently announced that Ross J. Davidson, Jr., will be the new Administrator for the Risk Management Agency. Mr. Davidson brings to the RMA a strong background in risk management. His leadership will be a valuable asset to the performance of the ARPA.
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