U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) announced this week that the committee, in an effort to gauge firsthand the impact farm policy has on those involved in the agriculture industry, will hold four field hearings in the months of March and April. These field hearings are a great opportunity to meet with congressional members, discuss agriculture policy and have your voice heard.
The “Farm Bill” is an omnibus multiyear authorizing law that deals with major farm and food legislation. While the heart of every omnibus farm bill is farm income and commodity price support, the farm bill typically includes titles on agriculture trade and foreign food aid, conservation and environment, forestry, domestic food assistance (primarily food stamps), agricultural credit, rural development, agricultural research and education, and forestry programs. In addition, the farm bill often contains such provisions as farm marketing, energy, food safety, and animal health and welfare.
For the AVMA, the 2012 Farm Bill priorities include reauthorization of the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, the Agriculture and Food Research Institute, and the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank. AVMA has been meeting with both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to ensure these programs are maintained in the Farm Bill. The AVMA will also seek to have the Veterinary Services Investment Act authorized in the Farm Bill. In addition to these priorities, AVMA supports stakeholder efforts to achieve stability for both the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and the Minor Use Animal Drug Program in the Farm Bill.
The full schedule for the House Committee on Agriculture hearings is:
- Friday, March 9, 2012 – 9:00 a.m. EST
North Country Community College, Sparks Athletic Complex
23 Santanoni Ave, Saranac Lake, NY 12983
- Friday, March 23, 2012 – 9:00 a.m. CDT
Carl Sandburg College, Student Center Building B
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd., Galesburg, IL 61401
- Friday, March 30, 2012 – 9:00 a.m. CDT
Riceland Hall, Fowler Center, Arkansas State University
201 Olympic Drive, State University, AR 72467
- Friday, April 20, 2012 – 9:00 a.m. CDT
Magouirk Conference Center
4100 W. Comanche, Dodge City, KS 67801
If you plan to attend one of the hearings and would like to know more about AVMA’s Farm Bill priorities, please contact Gina Luke (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-289-3204). If you cannot attend the hearings, the committee is doing a live webcast of each hearing.
For more information on the AVMA 112th Congress Legislative Agenda, visit www.avma.org/advocacy.