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October 06, 2011   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
October 06, 2011

Autauga County Farmers Federation President Andy Wendland, left, talks to U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., earlier this year during the Federation's annual Washington Legislative Trip. Wendland, who is Alabama's Farmer of the Year, was chosen by Roby to serve on her Agriculture Advisory Panel.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Representative Martha Roby, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, announced the recent formation of her Agriculture Advisory Panel. Roby held her first meeting with panel members in Troy last week.

Panel members include leaders of the Alabama Farmers Federation, and other leaders in the agriculture industry from throughout the 2nd Congressional District. The newly formed panel will serve as an essential resource for Roby as the House Agriculture Committee continues discussing provisions that will be included in the 2012 Farm Bill.

Members of the Agriculture Advisory Panel are, in alphabetical order: Dale Armstrong, Dothan; Tony Beck, Rutledge; Andy Bell, Tallassee; Hassey Brooks, Montgomery; Josh Carnley, Enterprise; Monica Carroll, Ozark; Kenny Childree, Comer; Walt Corcoran, Eufaula; Albert Curry, Pinckard; Tom Duncan, Greenville; John Dorrill, Troy; Cindi Fain, Geneva; Richard Holladay, Hayneville; George Jeffcoat, Gordon; Gary Mattox, Headland; Neil Outlaw, Hartford; Carl Sanders, Brundidge; Salem Saloom, Evergreen; Andy Sumblin, Kinston; Andy Wendland, Autaugaville; Ed White, Headland; and Ricky Wiggins, Andalusia.

"Since taking office, I have made it a priority to formulate a panel of leaders in agriculture who represent our district," Roby said. "The production and professional experience of the panel members vary, covering counties and commodities throughout the Wiregrass, the River Region and other parts of Alabama's 2nd Congressional District. Their combined knowledge will provide me specialized guidance on agriculture priorities necessary for our farmers here in Alabama."

During the initial meeting, members and Rep. Roby discussed issues specific to conservation, crop insurance, irrigation and row crops as well as cattle and poultry concerns.

"While Congress continues to work on the details of the 2012 farm bill, it is my responsibility to bring the voices of the farmers from right here in Alabama to the forefront of the discussion," Roby said. "Throughout the upcoming hearings on farm bill legislation, we need to ensure that all of our farming interests are accurately represented. This bill must contain provisions that are both responsive and beneficial to our farmers here in Alabama, all while maintaining fiscal restraint."

Roby said Congress will be placing an emphasis on the next farm bill to be certain existing programs are the most efficient to ensure farmers can farm. She said members of the advisory panel would work with her through the process to make certain that any changes provide a safety net for agriculture.

"Farmers must always be able to maintain agriculture production, which is critical to our national security," Roby said. In conjunction with formation of the Agriculture Advisory Panel, Roby has held several agriculture listening sessions in the 2nd Congressional District. She said she plans to continue to host such sessions to guarantee that Alabama farmers have a voice in Congress.

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