Producers Help Shape the 2012 Farm Bill

Legislators are talking with farmers and agricultural groups to discuss the 2012 Farm Bill. The first hearings were held in Idaho.
The United States House Agriculture Committee wants to know what farmers want or would like to see in the new farm bill.
“We haven’t decided what to do yet,” said Representative Walt Minnick. “But hearing from Idaho producers, whether they grow potatoes, or cattle, or grow mint in the Treasure Valley will help us put together a bill that will better suit Idaho.”
Organizations and farmers are happy to be included in the process.
“(This) gives Idahoans the opportunity to testify on what we believe the farm program should look like,” Scot Brown, president of the Idaho Grain Producers Association, said. The committee has challenged farmers to come up with a new farm bill, pretending that there wasn’t an original farm bill- what would producers want it to offer and protect?
Group leaders agree all industries are struggling, not just dairy or livestock. “Having the agriculture committee here at the very beginning of the process of formulating the next farm bill is the most important time for Idaho agriculture to be heard,” Minnick said. Producers want a bill that will help more than just the dairy industry, a bill that addresses all industries.
After the U.S. House Agriculture meets with producers about their desires they will meet with farmers to see how they current Farm Bill worked for them.
The 2008 Farm Bill expires in 2012. The bill covers farm support, food assistance, trade, rural development and marketing.
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