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FARMERS TO MEET WITH CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS IN WASHINGTON
Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686

MONTGOMERY Alabama farmers are looking for ways to preserve the family farm and recover from one of the most disastrous crop years in recent history. Low prices, adverse weather conditions and foreign market restrictions of American-grown crops made 1999 one of the worst years in recent history for many Alabama farmers, said Jerry Newby, president of the Alabama Farmers Federation. That's why nearly 400 members of the state's largest farm organization will be in Washington, D.C., March 4-8 meeting with members of Congress.

"Our members are looking forward to the opportunity to talk directly to our nation's leaders," Newby said. "This is a chance for Alabama farmers to make their voices heard. It is very important for our government leaders to be able to put a face on agriculture and understand how the decisions they make will affect rural families."

In addition to touring the nation's capital, Federation members will hear from some of the top agriculture officials in the nation. Tom Sell, deputy chief of staff for the House Agriculture Committee, will speak to Federation members at the Hotel Washington during an orientation breakfast March 6. Deb Atwood of the National Pork Producers, Charlie Garrison of the Southeast Dairy Farmers Association and Dale Moore of the National Beef Cattlemen's Association also will address the group that morning. John Maguire of the National Cotton Council and Bob Redding, a national peanut lobbyist, also are scheduled to speak.

Other topics during the meetings include a briefing on USDA programs and international trade. Members will have breakfast with their congressional leaders March 7 and will meet with their U.S. senators later that same day.


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