Farmers fly to the District of Columbia to defend the rice interests of the United States.

Arkansas rice farmer Jennifer James testifies before the House Committee on Agriculture

Teams of rice farmers have deployed on Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers and key staff to share industry challenges and priorities as preparations for the 2023 Farm Bill are underway.

“This week we had a great time attending our meetings in DC,” said Kirk Sutherfield, a rice farmer from Mississippi and chairman of the U.S. Board of Directors for Rice Growing.

“Our teams were able to meet with more than 30 members of Congress, and they were very responsive to our concerns.”

Sutherfield said the dominant issues at all the meetings were unclear input costs, access to skilled workers and uncertainty about trade and regulation.

“The current draft law on farms expires next year, and, as in agriculture in general, a lot of work needs to be done,” he added. “Recently, we have seen high government spending in response to both the pandemic and the infrastructure package – which, incidentally, has been beneficial to agriculture and rural America – and you have a lot of prices for goods that look good on paper.

But this is not a fig. Our trading partners are cheating, our contribution and labor costs are skyrocketing, our prices are not keeping up, and suddenly the farm’s safety net – a well-meaning policy – does not reflect the current conditions. “

On Tuesday morning at an early hearing on the farm bill in the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, Arkansas farmer Jennifer James joined farmers growing corn, sorghum, soybeans, wheat, cotton and peanuts to certify the current farm name and bill. about what she thinks of the new farmers bill should be considered.

“Other goods may view crop insurance as their primary safety net, but Section I of the Farm Bill – the name of the product – is a cornerstone of the safety net for rice farm families,” James said in her comments to the committee.

“It helps us compete in a global market that is severely distorted by high and growing foreign subsidies, tariffs and non-tariff barriers. The fact is that Title Rice’s U.S. rice policy helps ensure that much of the world’s rice is sustainably produced in the U.S., in line with the world’s highest standards of environmental protection, safety and labor. ”

“We appreciate that the chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, David Scott, has invited the rice industry to attend this hearing, and we are especially grateful to Jennifer for agreeing to share her views,” said Rice President and CEO Rice Betsy Ward.

“I also appreciate all of our members who have made the trip to Washington, and members of Congress and their staff who have taken the time to meet with us and listen to our concerns. This will not be the last thing they hear from us, but I am sure we will be able to work together to achieve our common goals. “

Josie McLaren is the Coordinator of Government Affairs and the PAC of the U.S. Rice Federation, she can be contacted at Farmers fly to the District of Columbia to defend the rice interests of the United States.

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