Representatives Phil Hare (D-Rock Island) and Debbie Halvorson (D-Crete) today sent a letter to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) asking him to hold a field hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill in Illinois.
As Congress begins to write the 2012 Farm Bill, the House Agriculture Committee has held hearings in various parts of the country to hear directly from farmers on what they would like included in the bill.
"Representing a productive agricultural district, I am keenly aware of the positive impact Illinois farmers could have on the Farm Bill, and how a good Farm Bill could impact Illinois," said Hare. "The Farm Bill ensures that all Americans have access to a safe, secure and affordable food supply and provides a safety net for farmers and ranchers. This is instrumental to our economic recovery and helps ensure sustainable growth."
"Illinois farmers deserve to have their voices heard," Halvorson said. "With one of the counties of my district being the largest county-level producer of corn in the United States, and Illinois serving as the largest international soybean and corn exporter among the states, it's essential that our citizens have a chance to make their concerns known in a public hearing on the upcoming legislation."
The Farm Bill also authorizes important nutrition programs, encourages environmentally friendly conservation programs, and supports the development of agriculturally based renewable energy, which will help to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
Field hearings have already been held in Alabama, South Dakota, and North Carolina. Illinois ranks 1st in soybean production, 2nd in corn, and 4th hog/pig production. Overall, Illinois is the 2nd biggest crop producer in the United States. These figures place Illinois ahead of the aforementioned three states.
"More than 85% of our farms are owned by individuals or families, and we are one of the biggest agricultural states," Hare said. "Illinoisans are some of the most productive farmers in the nation and deserve to be heard on this important issue."