House Ag Finishes Farm Bill Field Hearings
The House Agriculture Committee has finished its series of farm bill field hearings. The final stop was Dodge City, Kansas. Members of the committee heard from producers of a variety of commodities and beef regarding the tools they need to produce a safe and affordable food and fiber supply. Witnesses told the committee that one of the goals of the next farm bill should be to provide opportunities for effective risk management for all of agriculture. Woody Anderson - a Texas cotton producer - said the risks of producing a crop have never been greater. Last season he was unable to harvest a single acre of cotton due to prolonged drought. Anderson also urged the committee to complete the farm bill this year.
Chairman Frank Lucas said there are some challenges that vary from region to region - noting farm policy should be tailored to fit those unique requirements. But he said it's also important to be mindful that farmers and ranchers across the country share many of the same experiences - particularly as they relate to regulatory burdens.
Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp says the hearing witnesses explained that agriculture is one of the few bright spots in America's economy and still has room to grow - but agricultural prosperity faces real and present dangers. Representative Huelskamp says overregulation from Washington threatens the continuity of family farms and the existence of the way of life in rural America. He says the nation's farmers need to be freed from the regulatory grips of eager bureaucrats.
The House Ag Committee will continue the farm bill process next week with the beginning of another series of hearings to gather input from national ag leaders and stakeholders.
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