The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens

Stabenow hosts Michigan hearing; Kansas hearing planned

Senate Agriculture Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, held the first field hearing on the 2012 farm bill today at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

Stabenow, best known for her support of fruits and vegetables and writing the specialty crop title of the 2008 farm bill, has been pointing out recently that Michigan agriculture is more diverse than most Americans realize. The 15 witnesses today reflected every aspect of agriculture, from fruits and vegetables to sugar beets and animal production to forestry.

In a news release, Roberts said he looks forward to hosting Stabenow at a hearing in Kansas later this summer.

“Today’s hearing is the first of many that will provide the committee with an opportunity to learn first-hand from producers about the effectiveness of our current farm bill and ideas for the future,” Roberts said.

“Agriculture faces the challenge of tremendous global importance. We have to double agriculture output to meet the food, the feed, and the fiber demands of a growing population of over 9 billion people over the next several decades,” he said. “With this challenge in mind, why would the federal government do anything to negatively impact the producer's ability to meet this challenge?"