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May 14, 2010   Email to Friend 

FEDERATION OFFICIALS TO TESTIFY AT FARM BILL HEARING
Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
May 14, 2010

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
TROY, Ala. -- Alabama Farmers Federation officers Ricky Wiggins of Andalusia and Carl Sanders of Brundidge will be among the witnesses testifying Saturday when the House Agriculture Committee holds a hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill at Pike County Cattlemen's Park. The three-hour hearing begins at 1 p.m.

Wiggins, a cattle, cotton and peanut producer who serves as the Federation's vice president of the Southeast area, will be on the hearing's second panel along with Clay County Farmers Federation President Lamar Dewberry, a forestry producer in Lineville.

Others on the second panel are Doug Gibbs, a beef producer from Ranburne, and Dr. Steven Taylor, professor and head of the Department of Biosystems Engineering at Auburn University.

Sanders, a row crop, hay and cattle producer who serves the Federation as a district director, will be among witnesses on the first panel.

Others on that panel are: Andy Bell, a cotton, corn, soybean, cattle and hay producer from Tallassee; Ed Esposito, a specialty crop, corn and potato producer from Newville; Joe Mencer, a rice, cotton, soybean and wheat producer from Lake Village, Ark.; and David Waide, a corn, soybean and rice producer in Jackson, Miss.

"I am very pleased that the Second District will serve as host for one of only eight hearings on the Farm Bill," said Alabama Congressman Bobby Bright. "I look forward to my colleagues visiting Troy and participating in what should be an informative and helpful field hearing."

Paul Pinyan, executive director of the Alabama Farmers Federation, said it's critical that Alabama farmers express their opinions because the farm bill sets agriculture policy for a five-year period. "The issues confronting our farmers today must be addressed," he said. "We have to let our leaders know that what they do in Washington can have a lasting impact on the future of farming in America."

In April, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the Committee that rural broadband access, renewable energy and bio-fuels, regional food systems and supply chains, forest restoration and private land conservation and ecosystem market incentives are priorities.

Vilsack said those five issues were "significant issues that need to be addressed (while) recognizing this committee will obviously focus on risk management tools, direct payment programs and the traditional safety net."

Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) has also said other issues to be addressed include crop insurance, the dairy industry and conservation.

The Troy hearing in is one of eight field hearings conducted across the country to review U.S. agriculture policy in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill. Several members of the Committee, including Peterson, are expected to be in attendance.

The hearing is open to the public. Those who cannot attend the hearing, can view live coverage of each hearing on the Committee's Web site at agriculture.house.gov/hearings/audio.html. The Committee will also collect public comments about the Farm Bill at its public feedback site. All comments received online by June 14 will be included in the Committee's Farm Bill field hearing record.


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