Senate Ag Committee Begins Farm Bill Work

The Senate Ag Committee hosted a farm bill listening session on Friday in Michigan, the home of Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow. Michigan’s agriculture is similar to California’s, in that dairy and specialty crops are predominant.

“Our most recent Farm Bill passed with the strongest bipartisan support ever,” said Senator Stabenow. “Senator Boozman and I continued that strong bipartisan tradition today at this first field hearing. We heard from farmers and others impacted by the Farm Bill about how we can strengthen this important legislation, grow our economy, and meet serious new challenges facing our country.”

Stabenow was joined by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), the committee’s Ranking Member, who said the Senate agriculture committee has a long history of working across party lines to produce strong farm bills.

“The tradition of starting the process off with field hearings in the states of the chair and ranking member sets the tone for putting stakeholders first as we begin farm bill deliberations,” he said. “I thank Chairwoman Stabenow for holding this very informative hearing, and welcome the valuable input we received from our witnesses. There is simply no substitute for getting out of Washington and hearing directly from those impacted by our decisions.”

Juliette King McAvoy of King Orchards in Central Lake, Michicgan was one of the witnesses.

“My father, John King, purchased the first 80 acre farm with a 100% loan for beginning farmers through the USDA. As a young bachelor, with no family history in agriculture and no seed money or equity to speak of, this Farm Bill program was the only way that he could realize his dream of being a cherry farmer,” she said.  

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.