The House Agriculture Committee has already started work on the next farm bill. On Tuesday, Senate Ag Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., announced she's ready to begin hearings on the 2012 Farm Bill as well. Her committee will get started this month. Lincoln says the farm bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation Congress considers on behalf of rural America and the nation's farmers and ranchers. She plans to hold several hearings over the course of the next few months focused on various issues that the farm bill will address.
The first hearing, scheduled for June 30, will focus on maintaining a sound U.S. farm policy to protect the nation's food supply. Lincoln says the country's food security, millions of jobs and a good share of the economy depends on the work U.S. farmers and ranchers do every day. She considers the farm bill necessary to ensure the U.S. continues to have a safe, reliable and affordable supply of food while protecting natural resources.
While dates and times have not been released other hearings are planned to focus on revitalizing the rural economy through rural development, promoting conservation practices that preserve natural resources and wildlife habitat, and ensuring ag is part of the nation's energy future.
Lincoln says the Ag Committee's hearings will provide feedback on how the current bill is working and lay the ground work for the future of the nation's farm, nutrition, conservation, rural development, research, forestry and energy priorities.