Last week, the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held a hearing on the growing financial pressures faced by U.S. farmers and ranchers.

The hearing was the first in a series the Agriculture Committee will be holding to focus on growing financial stress in the farming community. Witnesses spoke on a variety of topics, including current market conditions, the importance of farm policy, crop insurance and other risk management tools and the dramatic drop in net farm income over the last three years.

Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, and subcommittee Chairman Rick Crawford, R-Ark., stressed that the farm safety net is proving vital to helping the nation’s farmers and ranchers weather growing economic uncertainty and that efforts to lessen that safety net would be detrimental to the nation’s farmers, ranchers and economy.