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March 05, 2003   Email to Friend 

SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO ADDRESS ALABAMA FARMERS
Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
March 05, 2003

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama farmers will meet with the United States' top agriculture official when they travel to the nation's capital March 16-18.

More than 200 Alabama farmers will participate in the annual legislative trip sponsored by the Alabama Farmers Federation. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman will meet with the Alabama group during their morning session March 17. She is expected to discuss provisions of the recently-passed disaster aid package for farmers and foreign trade issues.

"This is a great opportunity for our farmers to personally talk with the decision makers in Washington," Newby said. "I think it's equally important for these leaders to meet our farmers and put a face on Alabama agriculture. We want them to understand that the decisions they make every day have a tremendous impact on farmers' lives and that of their families."

A U.S. Department of Agriculture briefing on March 17 will include a question-and-answer session with high-ranking USDA officials, including Chuck Connor, assistant to the president for Agriculture and Trade; Marketing and Regulatory Undersecretary Bill Hawks; and Carol Goodloe, a senior Washington economist.

Farmers also will discuss renewable fuels and other farm legislation during the trip with various Washington officials.

During their visit, the farmers will meet with Alabama Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions as well as Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Thad Cochran of Mississippi. Another highlight of the trip will be a series of breakfast meetings where farmers will have an opportunity to discuss important issues with their congressmen. Topics of discussion will likely include the implementation of the disaster aid package, agricultural trade, environmental regulations and funding for research projects.




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