Crawford: Arkansas will have a Voice in 2012 Farm Bill

Field hearing at Arkansas State gave Arkansas farmers a chance to affect new policy

Congressman Rick Crawford questions witnesses at a 2012 Farm Bill Field Hearing today at
Arkansas State University

JONESBORO – Today, Congressman Rick Crawford welcomed House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas to Arkansas State University for one of only four 2012 Farm Bill Field Hearings in the country. The hearing was Arkansas’s chance to have a seat at the table as new policy is being crafted and this marks the first time a Farm Bill Field Hearing has ever been held in Jonesboro.
Crawford and other members of the Agriculture Committee heard from Southeast producers of aquaculture, beef, and a variety of commodities, including rice and cotton, about the contributions U.S. agriculture has made to the U.S. economy. They explained that even during difficult economic times and catastrophic weather events, American farmers have continued to provide a safe, affordable, and stable food and fiber supply in no small part because of sound farm policy. They echoed the views of other witnesses from the past two field hearings by telling Committee Members that farmers need an effective safety net, a choice of risk management tools, and regulatory certainty.

“Today’s hearing gave producers in my district a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation as new farm policy is being crafted. I thank Chairman Lucas and my friends on the House Agriculture Committee for coming to Jonesboro to learn more about mid-south agriculture and what we can do as a committee to ensure producers’ viability. The hearing today is one of only four field hearings in the entire country and will ensure that the 2012 Farm Bill represents the needs of Arkansas farmers,” said Congressman Crawford.

‪”As we visit with producers from different regions of the country, the overriding message we’re hearing is just how important it is to provide a choice of policy options in the next Farm Bill. In order for our farmers to be successful and continue to provide the quality food and fiber that we all expect and enjoy, we need to give them the necessary tools to manage risk no matter what type of crop they’re growing,” said Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK).

Witnesses Included:

Panel I 
    Mr. L. Dow Brantley, rice, cotton, corn, and soybean producer, Brantley Farming Company, England, Arkansas 
    Mr. Randy Veach, cotton, rice, corn, wheat, and soybean producer, Manila, Arkansas 
    Mr. Paul T. Combs, rice, soybean, cotton, corn, and wheat producer, Sunrise Land Company, Kennett, Missouri 
    Mr. Bowen Flowers, cotton, corn, soybean, wheat, and rice producer, Clarksdale, Mississippi 
    Mr. Tim Burch, cotton and peanut producer, Burch Farms, Newton, Georgia

Panel II 
    Mr. David Hundley, rice, corn, and soybean producer, Jonesboro, Arkansas 
    Mr. Mike Freeze, aquaculture producer, Keo Fish Farm, Keo, Arkansas 
    Mr. Dan Stewart, cow calf producer, Mountain View, Arkansas 
    Mr. John E. Owen, rice, soybean, corn, and cotton producer, John and Annie Owen Farms, Rayville, Louisiana 
    Mr. Walter Corcoran, Jr., cotton, corn, peanut, soybean, grain sorghum, and cow calf producer, Eufaula, Alabama

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