A House Agriculture Committee listening session, “The Next Farm Bill, Conversations in the Field,” took place on June 24 in Gainesville, Florida.
Those who attended the informal farm bill hearing spoke about how they are affected by policies in their daily lives. Farmers, ranchers and stakeholders were encouraged to tell how the bill affects them so that the representatives could hear how they can better change the policies.
Mike Stuart, president of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, attended the event.
“I think we had some great testimony across the breadth of southeastern agriculture and some really good input for the committee,” said Stuart. While industry comments, budget issues and the rest of the work create challenges for the committee, he is optimistic for a good outcome.
“Talk to your members of Congress and make sure they understand what your concerns are, so at the end of the day we do have a good product,” Stuart said.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conway, Rep. Ted Yoho and Rep. Neal Dunn briefly explained the intricacies of creating a new farm bill and why it is important for growers to attend the listening session in a statement released Friday morning: “So we’re looking to Florida and its neighbors for help. Writing the farm bill is a big task, with a lot of moving parts — and it’s vitally important we get the policy right. The bill includes the risk management tools that are critical to helping farmers and ranchers endure tough economic times. It includes voluntary, incentive-based assistance to aid farmers in conserving and improving our water, air and wildlife habitat. It supports research to ensure that our farmers and ranchers are able to produce more with less. And it includes vital nutrition assistance for our most vulnerable citizens.”
Additional farm bill comments may be submitted to HouseAgListens@mail.house.gov.
AgNet Media was proud to live stream the farm bill listening session. Listen to the audio from the event here.
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