Seven Congress members joined House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., in Lubbock, Texas Monday to review U.S. ag policy. Thirteen witnesses testified on various farm policy issues before a group of nearly 300 community members including local ag producers and leaders. Congressman Michael Conaway. R-Texas, Ranking Member of the Ag Committee's Subcommittee on Rural Development, says it's imperative for Congress to listen to the concerns of industry experts and producers as the drafting of the 2012 Farm Bill begins.
Conaway says the hearings help ensure farmers and ranchers have an adequate safety net and the proper resources necessary to continue providing the American public with the world's most affordable and abundant food and fiber supply. Chairman Peterson notes Congress needs to make sure the Farm Bill meets the needs of Texas farmers since Texans produce more than $21 million in agriculture products every year. Ranking Member of the Ag Committee's Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Congressman Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, says Texas has a diverse and productive ag sector and the producers have useful feedback when it comes to current and future ag policy.