House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson held a field hearing in Cheyenne, Wyoming to review U.S. agriculture policy as the Committee begins the process of writing the 2012 Farm Bill. This is the fourth in a series of hearings scheduled across the country to consider new ideas regarding Federal food and farm policy. Eight Members of Congress attended today’s hearing and heard testimony from eight witnesses on a variety of farm policy issues.
“Farmers and ranchers in Wyoming have been making a living off the land for generations, and the experience and toughness that comes from that kind of history represents the best of what American agriculture can accomplish,” Chairman Peterson said. “I am impressed by the ideas and innovations that we heard here in Wyoming, and we will use what we have learned as we move forward with writing the next Farm Bill.”
According to U.S Department of Agriculture statistics, Wyoming ranks fourth in the U.S. for sheep and lamb production and ranks eighth among barley growing states. More than one million acres of land in Wyoming are enrolled in USDA conservation programs.
“While I get to hear from my own producers every time I step into the coffee shop or the feed store, or host town hall meetings across my district in Oklahoma, it is vitally important to hear from producers all over the country who grow and raise a wide range of products,” said Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas of Oklahoma. “These field hearings will provide the Agriculture Committee with perspective and insight as we move forward with reauthorizing the farm bill.”
About 100 members of the community attended the hearing, including local agriculture producers and leaders. House Agriculture Committee Members attending the hearing included: Chairman Peterson, Ranking Member Lucas, Congressman Dennis Cardoza of California, who serves as Chairman of the Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture, Congresswoman Betsy Markey of Colorado, Congressman K. Michael Conaway of Texas who serves as the Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development, Biotechnology, Specialty Crops and Foreign Agriculture, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry who serves as the Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry, Congressman Adrian Smith of Nebraska, and Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.
“As a rancher, and the first Wyoming Representative to serve on the House Agriculture Committee since 1941, I am pleased the committee chose Cheyenne for its hearing to address the devastation to our forests caused by the bark beetle, and help shape the upcoming farm bill,” Congresswoman Lummis said. “Input from Wyoming’s farmers, producers and forest managers has been absolutely essential. It’s necessary for these Members of Congress to get a firsthand understanding of the challenges Wyoming faces. I’m grateful people in Wyoming shared their expertise on these complex issues.”
“As we prepare to craft the next farm bill, it is critically important that we hear directly from the farmers and ranchers who work every day to provide our country with a safe and secure food supply,” Congresswoman Markey said. “Bringing the farm bill to the people it serves will make it more efficient and more effective, and I’ll continue working hard to keep Colorado agriculture strong.”
“Our nation faces unprecedented economic challenges, and rural communities across the country offer innovative solutions. We should be working to create policies which will strengthen American agriculture and provide long-term stability for our nation’s producers, and to promote economic policies which will foster sustained growth in rural communities,” Congressman Smith said. “The rural way of life is forever changing, and I believe we have a good story to tell.”
Russell Nemetz and Haylie Shipp with the Northern Ag Network listened to the testimony provided by several members of the panel.
Written testimony provided by the witnesses is available on the Committee website: https://agriculture.house.gov/hearings/index.html.
A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website at a later date.
. Mr. Bill Crapser, Wyoming State Forester, Cheyenne, Wyoming . Mr. Rick Cables, Regional Forester, Region 2, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Golden, Colorado o Accompanied by: Mr. Phil Cruz, Deputy Forest Supervisor, Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Laramie, Wyoming . Ms. Nancy Fishering, forest products producer, Montrose, Colorado
. Mr. Jerry Cooksey, wheat producer, Roggen, Colorado . Mr. Ogden Driskill, cattle and buffalo producer, Devil’s Tower, Wyoming . Mr. Les Hardesty, dairy producer, Greeley, Colorado . Mr. John Snyder, Jr., sugarbeet producer, Worland, Wyoming . Mr. Dennis Sun, cattle producer, Casper, Wyoming
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Source: House Agriculture Committee
Posted by Russell Nemetz & Haylie Shipp