Midwest Ag Producers Make Case for an Effective Safety Net at Illinois Field Hearing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Friday, 23 March 2012 14:37

Galesburg, Illinois – This morning in Galesburg, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (OK-03) continued the House Agriculture Committee's field hearing series in the district represented by Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17). It was the second of four hearings to be held across the country throughout March and April to gather input in advance of writing the 2012 Farm Bill.


Members took testimony from Midwest producers of corn, rice, soybeans, wheat, sorghum, specialty crops and beef.  Witnesses expressed the importance of developing policy that appreciates and recognizes the risks involved with growing food and fiber.  They stressed the need for an effective safety net and a choice of risk management tools so farmers can continue to produce a stable food supply and compete in the global marketplace.


"The field hearings give Members of this Committee a chance to hear how programs are working for our agricultural producers. There’s no better way to accomplish this than to visit with folks in the countryside. It's important to understand how we can write policy that works for all of agriculture," said Chairman Lucas.


“The Midwest – particularly Illinois’ 17th District – is an agricultural powerhouse, blessed with some of the most fruitful farmland on Earth, and produces high-quality, affordable food.  This field hearing is a wonderful opportunity for our area’s farmers to lay out their priorities for the next Farm Bill to my colleagues on the Agriculture Committee and me.  I’d like to extend my thanks to Chairman Lucas and his staff for recognizing the invaluable contributions of our area to America’s food supply, and for including the 17th Congressional District as one of the settings for Farm Bill discussions,” said Rep. Schilling.


Attending today's hearing were a number of elected officials or their representatives, including staff with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Mark Kirk's (R-IL) Agriculture Advisory Board, Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza, representatives of Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, Illinois Department of Agriculture Acting Director Robert Flider, Adams County Circuit Clerk Randy Frese, and more. 

"I want to thank everyone who took the time to join us in today's discussion on farm policy," said Rep. Schilling. "The Farm Bill is a topic that doesn't seem to get much attention in Washington or in the media, but I can't overstate how important it is to communities like ours.  We have our work cut out for us in crafting the next Farm Bill, but the Ag Committee is a truly bipartisan committee.  We will work together to produce a farm bill that works for America, and continues to allow producers like those who testified today to do what they do best."

Written testimony provided by the witnesses is linked below.


Witness List:


Panel I


Mr. David C. Erickson, corn and soybean producer, Altona, Illinois


Mrs. Deborah L. Moore, corn, soybean, and beef producer, Roseville, Illinois


Mr. John Mages, corn and soybean producer, Belgrade, Minnesota


Mr. Blake Gerard, rice, soybean, wheat, and corn producer, McClure, Illinois


Mr. Craig Adams, corn, soybean, wheat, hay, and beef producer, Leesburg, Ohio


Panel II


Mr. John Williams, sorghum, corn, wheat, and soybean producer, McLeansboro, Illinois


Mr. Gary Asay, pork, corn, and soybean producer, Osco, Illinois


Mr. Terry Davis, corn and soybean producer, Roseville, Illinois


Mr. David W. Howell, corn, soybean, pumpkin, and tomato producer, Middletown, Indiana


Ms. Jane A. Weber, specialty crop producer, Bettendorf, Iowa

Schilling and the Ag. Committee also invite feedback from members of the public on the future of farm policy to be considered as part of the Committee’s Farm Bill field hearing record.  The Committee's feedback form can be found by clicking here.

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