Farm Bill hearing takes place May 31 at MSU

This coming Tuesday, May 31, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry will hold the committee’s first Farm Bill field hearing here at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The hearing, “Opportunities for Growth: Michigan and the 2012 Farm Bill,” will focus on the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill, examining agriculture as well as energy, conservation, rural development, research, forestry and nutrition policies that affect Michigan. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow chairs the committee. Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, MSU president; Dr. J. Ian Gray, MSU vice president for research and graduate studies; and I will lead the opening panel discussion. Witnesses for the second and third panels will consist of various leaders in the agriculture industry.

 Sen. Stabenow is an alumna not only of MSU, but also of MSU Extension. She participated in 4‑H in Clare County as a youth, served as an intern for MSUE in Lansing as a student at MSU, and for many years supported MSUE in Ingham County as a county commissioner. Senator Stabenow was appointed to chair the agriculture committee earlier this year and has the opportunity to lead the committee through the very important reauthorization process for all laws associated with food and agriculture policy in the Farm Bill. This includes authorization for funding of research, extension and education such as the Smith-Lever funding that supports Cooperative Extension in Michigan and every other state.

 The public may participate in the hearing by submitting written testimony, which will be included in the official record of the hearing. Three copies of your testimony can be submitted at the hearing or can be sent to the committee no later than June 7, 2011. Send your testimony to aghearing@ag.senate.gov or to U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, 328A Russell Senate Office Bldg, Washington, D.C. 20510.

 For up-to-date information on the hearing and Farm Bill process, you can visit the Senate Agriculture Committee website at ag.senate.gov.

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