FarmPolicy

August 23, 2017

Sen. Johanns’ Opening Remarks to 2013 Farm Bill Markup

Categories: Farm Bill

May 14, Sen. Mike Johanns (R., Neb.) opening statement at Sen. Ag. Comm. mark up of the Farm Bill.

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Sen. Chambliss Opening Statement Farm Bill Mark Up

Categories: Farm Bill

May 14, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R., Ga.) opening statement at the Ag. Comm. mark up of the Farm Bill.

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Sen. Heitkamp Kicks off Farm Bill Mark Up with Staunch Defense of Rural America

Categories: Farm Bill

May 14, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.) Senate Agriculture committee mark up of the Farm Bill, opening remarks.

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Farm Bill; Ag Economy; and, Biotech

Farm Bill Issues

In an interview yesterday with FarmPolicy.com that focused on rural development issues and the Farm Bill, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation, spoke about issues important to her Subcommittee in this Congress –(full transcript available here, audio replay here (MP3- 7:42)).

In part, the North Dakota Democrat stated that, “I think first off we want to make sure that we have adequate resources to address the needs of rural infrastructure, and so the farm bill is a critical component, as it sets forth what, in fact, should be in that line item. And I think the first, most critical thing is making sure that we maintain a level of economic support for rural development.

“Beyond that I think it’s taking a look at housing, taking a look at critical infrastructure within rural communities, and how we can continue to make those vibrant, thriving communities so that we can maintain our family farm agriculture and make sure that these are communities that can attract some of the best and brightest Americans and kids from North Dakota farms who want to come back home. So to me it’s about retention and about expansion of economic opportunities in rural areas.”

In discussing the link of a profitable agricultural sector to rural development, Sen. Heitkamp pointed out, “And so to me it’s not just about production agriculture. That’s the beginning. That’s what we do. Ninety percent of the land in North Dakota is used in production agriculture, and that’s huge. And it is a huge driver of our economy.

But if you’re going to look at how we stabilize our economy, it’s that next step in rural development. It’s the next step in taking our commodity goods and transforming them right here in our state. It is taking a look at what we can do for export enhancement. It’s taking a look at what we can do in research, which are also two critical issues for me in this farm bill.”

After talking briefly about the energy production, where Sen. Heitkamp explained that, “we need to apply the same principles that we’ve done in value-added agriculture to value-added energy, and make sure that we’re getting the maximum amount of profitability out of the products that we produce,” she addressed a key issue in the Farm Bill debate: crop insurance.

“[The] crop insurance program is essential to food security in our country,” she said, “it does, in fact, guarantee a steady supply of food in this country.”

Sen. Heitkamp also stated yesterday that, “I think that the Senate will definitely pass a farm bill out of the Senate before this extension expires.”

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