Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Ag Committee, and Ranking Member Pat Roberts, held a Committee field hearing in Wichita, Kansas Thursday, to hear from farmers, producers and agricultural leaders on how the Committee can work to strengthen the next Farm Bill. Chairwoman Stabenow underscored the need for maintaining a strong safety net, pointing to the severe drought conditions that are impacting farmers and producers across Kansas as a dire example.
Stabenow underscored the need to focus on streamlining and consolidating Farm Bill programs as the Committee seeks to strengthen agricultural policy in an austere budget environment. She said – we need to be evaluating everything the government does, measuring every program, and streamlining and consolidating programs. She told the gathering; – this isn’t going to be an easy process.
Kansas farmer and conservationist Ronald Brown urged Congress to, at a minimum, maintain the mandatory conservation funding levels as agreed in the 2008 Farm Bill. He also called for full funding of technical assistance to help farmers, ranchers and landowners continue their critical role in protecting our nation’s air, water and soil. Brown said, – partnerships on the local, state and federal level are essential for coordinating and streamlining these efforts.
Speaking on behalf of the American Soybean Association, Board member Bob Henry told the hearing that – ASA is continuing to develop positions on key issues for the next farm bill, recognizing that there will be no new money and pressure to reduce spending on all federal programs, including agriculture, is and will continue to be intense. Henry told the committee that – ASA’s efforts are focusing on improvements in crop insurance and the Average Crop Revenue Election program.
NAFB News Service