Farm Bill Hearing
July 13, 2017
On Thursday, July 13, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held its sixth hearing on the Farm Bill titled, “Opportunities in Global and Local Markets, Specialty Crops, and Organics: Perspectives for the 2018 Farm Bill.” The panel of witnesses consisted of representatives from organic grain companies, organic and specialty crop producers, potato farmers, food distributers working with local markets, and beef and swine producers. Discussion ranged from the inefficiency of the National Organic Program to foreign policies to the need for organic research and grant investment. However, there was one clear priority among the witnesses and that was trade. Specifically, the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMD).
In Chairman Robert’s opening remarks he stressed the necessity of trade and MAP and FMD, citing a specific example involving wheat. Prior to the conclusion of the hearing Senator Roberts spoke of a meeting he had with President Trump a few days prior and expressed his confidence in the future of crop insurance as well as the President’s understanding of the national security concern and trade priority surrounding the Pacific Rim countries.