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Public Farm Bill Forum -- July 7 in Nashville

  • Subject: [cg] Public Farm Bill Forum -- July 7 in Nashville
  • From: "Betsy Johnson" betsy@bgjohnson.com
  • Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 17:10:45 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: pam@sustainableagriculture.net
[mailto:pam@sustainableagriculture.net] 
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 11:11 AM
To: betsy@bgjohnson.com
Subject: Public Farm Bill Forum -- July 7

Betsy Johnson,

Johanns Announces First USDA Farm Bill Forum and Topics for Public
Comment  

PUBLIC IS INVITED TO ATTEND AND TO CALL IN FROM ACROSS THE NATION 

July 7, 2005 
6:00 -10:00 p.m. 
Nashville, Tennessee (RFD-TV Northstar Studios) 

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE NEEDS TO BE WELL REPRESENTED HERE! 

Topics for the Forum are listed below. 

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING. 

Thanks!
~Pam


PRESS RELEASE (http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdahome): 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., June 16, 2005-Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns
today announced the first Farm Bill Forum and the topics on which the
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be seeking input from
America's farmers, ranchers and rural residents regarding the
development of the 2007 Farm Bill. 

"The next farm bill will affect America's entire agricultural
community," said Johanns. "That's why I want to ask America's farmers
and ranchers how our farm policy is working and how we can make it
better. I believe very strongly that they deserve a voice in this
process." 

The first Farm Bill Forum will be held in Nashville, Tenn. on July 7
from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. CDT at RFD-TV Northstar Studios. The public is
invited to attend and participate in the forum, which will be broadcast
live on RFD-TV. In addition to accommodating approximately 300 in the
audience, the forum also will accept calls from across the nation. 

Johanns made the announcement in remarks to the State Convention of the
Illinois FFA in Springfield, Ill. The 2002 Farm Bill, which authorizes
many of the programs operated by USDA, expires with the 2007 crop year. 

Johanns noted that in his remarks that he was approaching the Farm Bill
Forums with an open mind. "I do not begin this process with preconceived
notions about the direction future farm policy should take," said
Johanns. 

"We will use the feedback we receive to help us determine the best
course for a new Farm Bill." 

Throughout 2005, Johanns and other senior USDA officials will
participate in the Farm Bill Forums that will be held across the
country. The dates, locations and times of the forums will be announced
as they are scheduled and be available on the USDA website at
http://www.usda.gov. The public will be invited to attend the forums and
to present oral comments. 

As the current Farm Bill covers a diverse array of program areas, SIX
TOPICS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED TO PROVIDE A FRAMEWORK FOR THE FORUMS. The
primary topics addressed at the forums will reflect various concerns
affecting rural America such as commodity, conservation, and rural
economic development issues. In addition, some forums will be dedicated
to other important programs authorized by the farm bill such as food
assistance, research and education programs. 

USDA will be seeking public discussion on farm policy considerations
regarding: the competitiveness of U.S. agriculture in global and
domestic markets; challenges facing new farmers and ranchers as they
enter agriculture; appropriateness and effectiveness of the distribution
of farm program benefits; achievement of conservation and environmental
goals; and enhancement of rural economic growth and opportunities to
expand agricultural products, markets and research. 

The public will be invited to provide comments on six specific questions
based on these policy considerations: 

1. How should farm policy be designed to maximize U.S. competitiveness
and our country's ability to effectively compete in global markets? 

2. How should farm policy address any unintended consequences and ensure
that such consequences do not discourage new farmers and the next
generation of farmers from entering production agriculture? 

3. How should farm policy be designed to effectively and fairly
distribute assistance to producers? 

4. How can farm policy best achieve conservation and environmental
goals? 

5. How can Federal rural and farm programs provide effective assistance
in rural areas? 

6. How should agricultural product development, marketing and
research-related issues be addressed in the next farm bill? 

Notice of these questions will be published in the June 17, 2005 Federal
Register. Comments will be accepted at public forums and may also be
submitted electronically via the Internet at the USDA home page
(http://www.usda.gov) by selecting "Farm Bill Forums," by email to
FarmBill@usda.gov or by mail to Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns,
Farm Bill, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3355. 

USDA WILL REVIEW THE PUBLIC COMMENTS RECEIVED BY DECEMBER 30, 2005,
INCLUDING ANY ANALYSES, REPORTS, STUDIES AND OTHER MATERIAL SUBMITTED
WITH THE COMMENTS, THAT ADDRESS THE SIX QUESTIONS. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Pam Browning 
Policy Coordinator 
National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture 
110 Maryland Avenue, Suite 306 
Washington, DC 20002 
Phone: 202-544-5466 
pam@sustainableagriculture.net 
http://www.sustainableagriculture.net


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