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Crawford: Arkansas Will Have a Voice in 2012 Farm Bill

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congressman Rick Crawford welcomed House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas to Arkansas State University for one of only four 2012 Farm Bill Field Hearings in the country. The hearing was Arkansas's chance to have a seat at the table as new policy is being crafted and this marks the first time a Farm Bill Field Hearing has ever been held in Jonesboro.

Crawford and other members of the Agriculture Committee heard from Southeast producers of aquaculture, beef, and a variety of commodities, including rice and cotton, about the contributions U.S. agriculture has made to the U.S. economy. They explained that even during difficult economic times and catastrophic weather events, American farmers have continued to provide a safe, affordable, and stable food and fiber supply in no small part because of sound farm policy. They echoed the views of other witnesses from the past two field hearings by telling Committee Members that farmers need an effective safety net, a choice of risk management tools, and regulatory certainty.

"Today's hearing gave producers in my district a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation as new farm policy is being crafted. I thank Chairman Lucas and my friends on the House Agriculture Committee for coming to Jonesboro to learn more about mid-south agriculture and what we can do as a committee to ensure producers' viability. The hearing today is one of only four field hearings in the entire country and will ensure that the 2012 Farm Bill represents the needs of Arkansas farmers," said Congressman Crawford.

"As we visit with producers from different regions of the country, the overriding message we're hearing is just how important it is to provide a choice of policy options in the next Farm Bill. In order for our farmers to be successful and continue to provide the quality food and fiber that we all expect and enjoy, we need to give them the necessary tools to manage risk no matter what type of crop they're growing," said Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK).

Witnesses Included:

Panel I
Mr. L. Dow Brantley, rice, cotton, corn, and soybean producer, Brantley Farming Company, England, Arkansas
Mr. Randy Veach, cotton, rice, corn, wheat, and soybean producer, Manila, Arkansas
Mr. Paul T. Combs, rice, soybean, cotton, corn, and wheat producer, Sunrise Land Company, Kennett, Missouri
Mr. Bowen Flowers, cotton, corn, soybean, wheat, and rice producer, Clarksdale, Mississippi
Mr. Tim Burch, cotton and peanut producer, Burch Farms, Newton, Georgia

Panel II
Mr. David Hundley, rice, corn, and soybean producer, Jonesboro, Arkansas
Mr. Mike Freeze, aquaculture producer, Keo Fish Farm, Keo, Arkansas
Mr. Dan Stewart, cow calf producer, Mountain View, Arkansas
Mr. John E. Owen, rice, soybean, corn, and cotton producer, John and Annie Owen Farms, Rayville, Louisiana
Mr. Walter Corcoran, Jr., cotton, corn, peanut, soybean, grain sorghum, and cow calf producer, Eufaula, Alabama

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