Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Farm Bill Field Hearing – by Ark Valley Voice Staff

The initial field hearing for the first Senate Agriculture Committee review of the 2018 Farm Bill was held this Friday morning in Michigan. The committee is focused this year on “Growing Jobs and Economic Opportunity: 2023 Farm Bill Perspectives”, and plans to hear from several states.

Testifying before the committee were the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Past President and Cass City, MI wheat farmer Dave Milligan. Both attended the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Hearing as part of the start of budget and program hearings.

The hearings focus on farm programs, conservation, rural development, research, and the other Farm Bill titles. Past President Milligan also provided written testimony to complement the witnesses who provided oral testimony.

Dave Milligan’s written certified key programs in the 2018 Farm Bill and how they impacted wheat growers. In the testimony, Milligan how COVID-19, the severe drought and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have all impacted the economic conditions in the country and emphasized the importance of preserving farm safety nets for economic disruptions.

US Dept. of Agriculture in Washington DC courtesy photo.

Ukraine, one of the largest producers of wheat in the world, and known as the breadbasket of Europe, faces severe challenges for this year’s growing season. The invasion and ongoing battle for control of large swaths of the country by Russia mean that spring planting is in danger, let alone harvesting the crop. The shortfall will not just impact third-world countries that depend upon that wheat production, but it is likely to drive up prices for wheat, flour and other wheat-based products around the world.

“It was good to see the leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee in Michigan today the first field hearing of the 117th Congress,” Milligan said. “NAWG is continuing to evaluate the effectiveness of the farm safety net programs and how we can improve them going into Farm Bill reauthorization.”

NAWG representatives say they look forward to working with the Senate Agriculture Committee as it continues to hold Farm Bill hearings and craft a bill that benefits wheat farmers across the United States.

“As the Senate Agriculture Committee begins looking at key titles of the Farm Bill, NAWG looks forward to testingifying before the committee on how these programs ensure that our food supply is safe, affordable, and can meet the challenges of feeding a growing world,” added Milligan.

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