Tricounty News

Subcommittee reviews the State of the Farm Economy

WASHINGTON-April 1, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held a hearing to review the state of the farm economy. Representative Leonard Boswell of Iowa is Chairman of the Subcommittee. The committee heard testimony from two panels of witnesses about the current state of the farm economy, examining both short-and long-term trends in prices, input costs, land value and farm output. The committee also discussed broader macroeconomic factors that influence agricultural and energy markets. The hearing was held a day after the Agriculture Department's release of the results of its survey of farmers' planting intentions for 2009 as well as its quarterly grain stocks report. "With one in five jobs in Iowa tied to the agricultural industry a strong farm economy is vital to rural America," Chairman Boswell said. "Often times our farmers and ranchers are overlooked in an economic crisis. In recent years agriculture has seen some of the most volatile times in our history. In order to continue to provide American citizens with the most safe, plentiful, and most affordable food supply in the world we must have stable and reliable farm economy." "Following the economic collapse of last fall, it was appropriate that this subcommittee hear from our nation's agricultural economists about how the U.S. agriculture sector is fairing," said Subcommittee Ranking Member Jerry Moran of Kansas. "The testimony we heard today will help guide us as we make policy decisions in the 111th Congress. I was especially pleased to have such a diverse cross-section of economists to give us a perspective of the farm economy not just in places like my home state of Kansas, but also coastal states like California and Georgia." The opening statements of all witnesses are available on the Committee Web site: http://agriculture.house.gov/hearings/index.html. A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website at a later date. Witness List: Panel I Dr. Joe Glauber, Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. Dr. Jason R. Henderson, Vice President & Branch Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City-Omaha Branch, Omaha, Nebraska Dr. Howard K. Gruenspecht, Acting Administrator, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C. Panel II Dr. Neil E. Harl, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Emeritus Professor of Economics, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa Mr. Troy J. Dumler, Extension Agricultural Economist, Southwest Kansas State Research and Extension, Garden City, Kansas Dr. J. Scott Angle, Dean and Director, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia Dr. Mechel (Mickey) S. Paggi, Director, Center for Agricultural Business and Adjunct Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, California State University, Fresno, California