January 16, 2019

Farm Bill Hearings; Biofuels; Climate Issues; Food Safety; and USDA Issue

Farm Bill Hearings- Rural Development

Two House Ag Subcommittees held hearings yesterday highlighting rural development and livestock programs in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill.

With respect to rural development, a news release from the Ag Committee yesterday stated that, “Today, Congressman Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development, Biotechnology, Specialty Crops, and Foreign Agriculture, held a hearing to review the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development programs in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill.

“The Subcommittee heard testimony from Dallas P. Tonsager [opening statement], Under Secretary for Rural Development at USDA and from rural economic development stakeholders utilizing rural development programs across America.

“‘Today’s hearing provided a good overview of the strengths and the weaknesses of our rural development programs given their current resources. I appreciate hearing from Under Secretary Tonsager and the USDA Rural Development administrators about their progress on Farm Bill implementation, the administration of Recovery Act funds, and issues we might consider for the next Farm Bill,’ Chairman McIntyre said. ‘Our second panel of witnesses provided good testimony and helpful suggestions, particularly on the complexity of the loan and grant application process, that I hope USDA will keep in mind as we move forward with the 2012 Farm Bill.’”

An audio replay of yesterday’s rural development hearing is available here.

During yesterday’s hearing, Subcommittee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway inquired about USDA’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” program (related audio-MP3- 3:24), and also asked witnesses on the second panel if federal allocations for farmer’s markets were as important as allocations for emergency first responders (related audio– MP3- 2:59).