House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson today held a hearing to discuss U.S. agriculture policy in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill with economists and academics who study these issues.

"I wanted the Committee to hear from these distinguished academics and economists about the trends and emerging issues facing agriculture and rural America that we need to keep in mind as we write the next Farm Bill." Chairman Peterson said. "These perspectives, along with the input we are receiving from farmers, ranchers and others around the country, will help us craft policies that will address the evolving situation facing producers and others who use Farm Bill programs."

"I appreciate the effort of Chairman Peterson in providing opportunities for this committee to hear from a variety of perspectives on how we can better form policy for the 2012 farm bill," said Ranking Member Frank Lucas. "These hearings, both in Washington and out in the field, will provide insight and direction as we move forward in the process."

The Farm Bill is major legislation that authorizes many government farm safety net, conservation, energy, trade, marketing, food assistance, and rural development programs over several years. The current farm bill, the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 was signed into law in 2008, and many of the provisions in that bill will expire in September 2012.

The House Agriculture Committee has held five other hearings on the 2012 Farm Bill this year, including a hearing in Washington, DC with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and four field hearings with farmers, ranchers and others who use Farm Bill programs in Des Moines, Iowa; Nampa, Idaho; Fresno, California; and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Over the next week, the Committee will hold additional field hearings in Morrow, Georgia; Troy, Alabama; Lubbock, Texas; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The House Agriculture Committee plans to provide live video coverage of field hearings on the Committee's Web site. The Committee will also collect public comments about the Farm Bill on its
Web site:

Source: Ag Press