House Holds Northeast Listening Session on 2018 Farm Bill

House Agriculture Panel (l to r) Ranking Member Peterson (TX), Chairman Conaway (MN), Vice Chairman Robertson (PA), and Rep. Fosse (NY)

In order to gather as much information as possible from the public, the Committee has, since June 24, also been holding listening sessions throughout the country (Florida, Texas, Minnesota, California and Illinois).  And, thanks to some urging by CSG-ERC’s Fran Boyd, our ears to the ground in Washington, D.C., the Committee agreed to visit the northeast as well.  On Monday, October 9, The State University of New York in Cobleskill was the site of the final scheduled Listening Session.  And Bob Haefner and Tara Sad, CSG-ERC Agriculture and Rural Affairs Policy Advisors, were there as your representatives.

The Committee Panel was made up of five participants – Chairman Conaway from Texas, Ranking Member Peterson from Minnesota, Vice Chairman Robertson from Pennsylvania, and two New York Representatives, Rep. Fosse and Rep. Talley.

The members of the public who testified included the Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Dean of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Director of the New York Farm Bureau, NY State Cooperative Extension Educators, Directors of Food Banks, Bison Producers, Dairy Farmers, Nutrition Advocates, FFA Students, Organic Farmers, among others.  The diversity of their issues and concerns underscored the scope of the Farm Bill.

This summer, the CSG-ERC Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee members met via conference call to discuss what we, as a region, would like to see included in the new Farm Bill.  At our annual meeting in Connecticut we had further discussions, which resulted in a Resolution, which was passed unanimously by both our committee as well as the CSG-ERC Executive Committee.  At this New York Agriculture Committee Listening Session, Bob Haefner presented our Resolution to the Committee for consideration during their deliberations.  Go to this link to read the full Resolution (http://www.csg-erc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/AG-1-Farm-Bill.pdf)

Bob Haefner testifying at Listening Session

We will be posting updates on the Farm Bill negotiations to the Blog as they develop.