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"Every planting season, America's farmers take a huge gamble that their investment will pay off -- that the sun, the rain, and the markets will come together in just the right combination so they can make a living and support their families," Chairwoman Stabenow said. "We cannot forget that high commodity prices are of absolutely no use to a farmer whose crop was lost in a drought or flood. One storm can wipe out an entire crop and jeopardize a farm in a matter of minutes - whether that crop is cherries in
Chairwoman Stabenow also emphasized the need for reforms to farm programs, saying "the era of direct payments is over." Stabenow said that farm policy should focus on risk management that helps producers who have suffered a loss on the crops they actually grow.
"I have heard again and again from farmers and ranchers across the country that crop insurance is the most important risk management tool," Chairwoman Stabenow said. "It is absolutely imperative that we get these policies right. Sixteen million people in this country have a job because of agriculture. At our very first hearing, I asked my colleagues to keep those 16 million people in mind, and I ask that again today. The Farm Bill is a jobs bill, and no farmer in America should lose their job, lose their farm, because of bad weather or market conditions beyond their control."
The hearing featured testimony from a range of farmers, commodity groups, and other stakeholders unilaterally calling for strengthening risk management tools to continue producing a safe and affordable national food supply.
Witnesses included Mr.
An archived webcast of the hearing, as well as the Chairwoman's opening statement and witness testimony, can be viewed on the Committee website at http://ag.senate.gov.
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