Senate and House Committees on Agriculture to Discuss Organic and Specialty Crops

Both the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and the United States House Committee on Agriculture have busy weeks with key farm bill hearings scheduled. On July 13, 2017 at 7:00 a.m. PST, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will have a full committee hearing titled Opportunities in Global and Local Markets, Specialty Crops, and Organics: Perspectives for the 2018 Farm Bill.
 
The hearing will be the first time organic agriculture will be highlighted in a 2018 Farm Bill hearing. The committee will announce witnesses shortly. A live-stream and recording of the hearing will be available on the committee’s website. Copies of testimonies presented by witnesses will also be available. CCOF highly encourages members and stakeholders to tune in and follow the national discussion. The Senate committee is accepting input online.
 
The House Committee on Agriculture is also staying busy with a full committee hearing on technology and innovation in specialty crops on July 12, 2017 at 7:00 a.m. PST. Agriculture Committee Chairman Congressman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) issued this statement about the hearing:
 
"Specialty crop production is a pivotal and growing sector of our agriculture industry. As we look at the farm bill through the lens of the current farm economy, innovation and technology will remain essential for farmers and ranchers to continue producing more food and fiber with fewer resources. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses on ways to build upon public-private partnerships and innovation to benefit specialty crop producers.”
 
The July 12 hearing will be the second House hearing focused on specialty crops. In March, the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research also hosted a specialty crop hearing. Specialty crops and organic agriculture has been mentioned in previous committee hearings, but both House and Senate hearings will be the first time each has been a main topic of a full committee hearing.
 
Both House and Senate agriculture committees have spent considerable time meeting and discussing the farm bill. Recordings and testimonies of each hearing are available on the House Committee on Agriculture website and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry website.
 
The farm bill is a hefty piece of legislation passed by Congress every five years that sets the nation’s food and agriculture policies. Consisting of 12 major sections or titles, the farm bill sets the rules for commodity, conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, forestry, energy, horticulture, and crop insurance programs. The current farm bill was approved in 2014, and Congress is now preparing a new farm bill for 2018.
 
CCOF will continue to track the 2018 Farm Bill and share information regarding hearings. Please contact policy@ccof.org with any questions.
 

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