WALL, SD, July 31 – Today, Rep. Jerry Moran, Chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, convened a field hearing in Wall, South Dakota to review programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction. This is the Subcommittee’s third hearing in a series of hearings to review risk management and commodity programs in anticipation of reauthorizing the 2002 Farm Bill later next year. Today’s hearing also included discussions about payment limitations, disaster assistance, livestock programs, conservation, and marketing programs.
“The information we gather from these field hearings will play an important role in writing the next farm bill. We want to hear about what’s working and what isn’t working in the current farm bill and what areas can be improved,” said Subcommittee Chairman Moran. “It’s very rare these days to have an occupation in which sons and daughters, moms and dads, and grandparents work side by side. We need to understand what types of policy are necessary to allow this way of life to continue.”
Agriculture is South Dakota’s leading industry with a $17 billion impact on the state’s economy. South Dakota ranks in the top 10 in the nation in the production of 25 agricultural commodities including soybeans, feed grains, wheat, honey, rye, cattle, sunflower seeds, sheep and lambs, and flaxseed. Sales of South Dakota’s agricultural commodities amount to nearly $3 billion a year.
“As the Agriculture Committee prepares to begin writing the next farm bill, it is critical that we hear first-hand from the nation's farmers. Today's hearing provided the committee with invaluable insight into the experiences of South Dakota's farmers and ranchers under the current farm bill,” said Subcommittee Ranking Minority Member Bob Etheridge.
The Subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes programs and markets related to cotton, cottonseed, wheat, feed grains, soybeans, oilseeds, rice, dry beans, peas, lentils, the Commodity Credit Corporation, crop insurance, and the commodity exchanges. Subcommittee Chairman Moran intends to hold several field hearings throughout the rest of the year to gather feedback about current farm policy as it relates to the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction.
Five members of the House Committee on Agriculture attended today’s hearing in Wall including: Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture Bob Goodlatte, R-VA; Committee Ranking Minority Member Collin Peterson, D-MN; Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Moran, R-KS; Subcommittee Ranking Minority Member Bob Etheridge, D-NC; and Rep. Stephanie Herseth, D-SD.
Witness testimony is available on the Committee website, and a full transcript of the hearing will be available on the Committee website 4-6 weeks following the hearing.
Mr. Doug Sombke, Grain Producer, Conde, South Dakota
Mr. Scott VanderWal, Corn and Soybean Producer, Volga, South Dakota
Mr. Mike Martin, Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Sunflower Producer, Forbes, North Dakota
Mr. Robert Carlson, Wheat and Barley Producer, Glenburn, North Dakota
Mr. Lynn Boadwine, Dairy Producer, Baltic, South Dakota
Mr. Rick Fox, Cattle Producer, Hermosa, South Dakota
Mr. Scott Jones, Cattle Producer, Midland, South Dakota
Mr. Steve Clements, Sheep Producer, Philip, South Dakota
Mr. Judge Jessop, Grassland Producer, Presho, South Dakota
Ms. Wendi Rinehart, Rancher, Highmore, South Dakota