AwToday, the U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held the first of two hearings this week to review implementation of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, commonly known as the Farm Bill. Congressman Leonard Boswell of Iowa chairs the subcommittee.

"For me, the Farm Bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation Congress works on because every man, woman, and child has a vested interested in agriculture," said Chairman Boswell. "The programs in the 2008 Farm Bill ensure our farmers have a strong safety net they can rely on, thus guaranteeing the United States has the safest, most plentiful, and affordable food supply in the world. While there have been some bumps along the way to implement the programs, producers are eager to have the rules and regulations finalized so they can continue providing the world with an adequate and affordable food supply."

"It has been over a year since the 2008 Farm Bill was enacted and it is appropriate for this subcommittee to look at how it is being implemented in the countryside," said Ranking Member Jerry Moran of Kansas. "We also need to examine the effectiveness of the various farm programs and determine whether the programs could be improved in the future."

The subcommittee heard testimony from a panel of witnesses representing major farm and commodity producer groups. Enacted into law last May, the FCEA made historic investments in nutrition, conservation, renewable energy and farm programs while including significant payment limit and income eligibility reforms. The bill garnered the support of more than 1,000 farm, specialty crop, conservation, nutrition, consumer and religious organizations.

The subcommittee will continue its review of farm policy implementation tomorrow at 10 a.m. Under Secretary of Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services James Miller is scheduled to testify.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses is available on the committee Web site. A full transcript of the hearing will be posted there at a later date.

Witness List:

  • Bob Stallman, president, American Farm Bureau Federation, Washington, D.C.
  • Ron Litterer, chairman, National Corn Growers Association, Greene, Iowa
  • John W. Hardwick, chairman, National Cotton Council,Cordova, Tennessee
  • Erik Younggren, secretary-treasurer, National Association of Wheat Growers, Washington, D.C.
  • Roger Johnson, president, National Farmers Union, Washington, D.C.

Source: U.S. House Committee on Agriculture