Tomorrow, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson begins a series of field hearings to hear from people about U.S. farm policy in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill.
Starting Friday, the House Agriculture Committee will hold hearings in Des Moines, Iowa; Nampa, Idaho; Fresno, California; and Cheyenne, Wyoming. The Committee will hold a second series of field hearings May 14-18 in Morrow, Georgia; Troy, Alabama; Lubbock, Texas; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Details for the Farm Bill field hearings are included below. For those who cannot attend the hearings, the House Agriculture Committee plans to provide live video coverage of each hearing on the Committee's website.
The Committee will also collect public comments about the Farm Bill on its website. All comments received online by June 14, 2010 will be included in the Committee's Farm Bill field hearing record.
Rep. Jerry Moran told The Sentinel he "hopes" to have one of these hearings in Kansas. During the last farm bill hearings, one was held in Salina, which gave Kansas producers a chance to testify their opinions, Moran said.
The House Agriculture Committe heard from USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack last week. Moran said most of Vilsack's testimony was about rural development and food stamp programs, instead of a focus on production agriculture.
Moran said it is a sign of the last farm bill that there will be less emphisis on farm programs. One of Moran's concerns is that less money will be given to the farm programs, causing hardship for producers. One example he gave was crop insurance. If crop insurance companies get less support from the government, they might not write policies in high risk states, like Kansas.