U.S. AGRICULTURE SECRETARY BRINGS NATIONWIDE FARM BILL FORUM TO TUSKEGEE AUG. 25
TUSKEGEE, Ala. -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns brings his nationwide farm bill listening tour to Tuskegee University Thursday, Aug. 25, 2005, from 12 until 3 p.m. (CST) in the Kellogg Conference Center and Hotel on campus.
A media conference is set for 11:30 a.m., and media availability is at 3 p.m. The public is invited to attend the Farm Bill Forum to engage in open dialogue about farm bill policy. Tuskegee University's College of Agricultural, Environmental and Natural Sciences is hosting the event.
"The Farm Bill Forums provide an opportunity for us to hear directly from America's farmers and ranchers. I'm learning a great deal from them," said Johanns, who along with USDA officials also hosted Farm Bill Forums in Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Indiana. The next stop is the Aug. 26 forum at the National Association of Latino/Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Las Cruces, N.M.
According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture news release, Johanns said he is "pleased that our USDA team will also be hosting additional forums that will focus on conservation, rural development and nutrition. I encourage as many citizens as possible to participate in these forums as we prepare for the development of a new farm bill."
"The 2007 Farm Bill," Johanns said, "will affect America's entire agricultural community, so I believe our entire agricultural community should have a say in the process. I welcome input from across the nation about what is working and what we can do to improve farm policy."
When participating in the forums, the USDA media release noted, "the public is invited to respond to one or more of the following six questions. The format of the forum will also allow an open comment period for general farm bill comments."
1. How should farm policy address any unintended consequences and ensure that such consequences do not discourage new farmers and the next generation of farmers from entering production agriculture?
2. How should farm policy be designed to maximize U.S. competitiveness and our country's ability to effectively compete in global markets?
3. How should farm policy be designed to effectively and fairly distribute assistance to producers? 4. How can farm policy best achieve conservation and environmental goals?
5. How can Federal rural and farm programs provide effective assistance in rural areas?
6. How should agricultural product development, marketing and research-related issues be addressed in the next farm bill?
The public is also welcome to submit their comments via the USDA Farm Bill Forums Web site at http://www.usda.gov/farmbill. For details, media may contact the USDA's Ed Loyd, (202) 720-4623, or Kristin Scuderi, (202) 720-4623. They may also contact Tuskegee University Director of Public and Media Affairs, Denise L. Berkhalter, at (334) 552-1292 or (334) 724-4553.