Subcommittee Discusses Federal Crop Insurance Program with Producers

May 14, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Bob Etheridge, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, held a hearing to review the Federal Crop Insurance Program.

The Subcommittee heard from producer representatives who suggested some specific changes in the program.

"I am a believer in crop insurance, and I want to ensure that farmers and taxpayers are getting the best product for their dollar," said Chairman Etheridge. "Today, we heard from producers who use crop insurance, as well as those who would like to be part of the system. We learned ways to improve the crop insurance structure so that more producers can participate in this important risk management tool."

"Crop insurance is a critical component of the overall safety net for America's farmers and ranchers. I was pleased to hear the witness' recommendations on what the Committee can do to help improve crop insurance," said Representative Charles Boustany, who served as the Ranking Member for the hearing in place of Representative Jerry Moran.

Witness List:

Ms. Caren Wilcox, Executive Director and CEO, Organic Trade Association, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Hilton R. Segler, President, Georgia Pecan Growers Association, Albandy, Georgia

Mr. W. Scott Marlow, Director, Farm Sustainability Program, The Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, Pittsboro, North Carolina

Mr. David Gillen, Farmer, on behalf of National Corn Growers Association, White Lake, South Dakota

Mr. Bill Kubecka, Past President, National Sorghum Producers, Palacios, Texas

Mr. Gary Iverson, Executive Director, Great Northern Growers Cooperative, Sunburst, Montana

Mr. Steve Chapman, President, American Sesame Growers Association, Lorenzo, Texas

Mr. Tim J. Watts, President, Watts & Associates, Inc., Billings, Montana

Witness testimony is available on the Committee website. A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website in 4-6 weeks.