WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held a hearing to review proposals to amend the commodity provisions of the 2002 Farm Bill. Congressman Bob Etheridge of North Carolina is Chairman of the Subcommittee.
"Today we heard in detail from major commodity groups about what their members would like to see in the next Farm Bill and what they think of other proposals being offered," said Chairman Etheridge. "In general, the framework of the current farm safety net for program crops enjoys strong support in farm country. Given the declining budget baseline for farm programs, the Subcommittee will have to work in a bipartisan manner if we want to further build upon the strong fundamental structure of that is already in place."
"For rural areas, the farm bill is the single most important piece of legislation Congress will consider this year," said Subcommittee Ranking Member Jerry Moran of Kansas. "It was good to see such a broad representation of American agriculture in one place today. Agriculture across this nation is diverse and while each organization may have a different perspective on how to improve the commodity title of the farm bill, we can all agree that maintaining a strong and vibrant agriculture industry in the United States is essential to the well-being of our nation."
The subcommittee heard testimony from two panels of witnesses representing major commodity groups, including cotton, corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, rice, oilseed, sorghum, and dry pea and lentil producers.
The General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee will be one of six House Agriculture subcommittees involved in reauthorization of farm programs in the Farm Bill, including the billÆs commodity title, Title I. Many of the provisions in the current farm bill will expire in September of 2007.
The opening statements of all the witnesses are available on the Committee website, and a full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website in 4-6 weeks.