On Friday, June 17th, Senator John Boozman (R-AR) played host to a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on the Farm Bill at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. Boozman, who is the Vice Chairman of the committee, invited Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to participate in the hearing. The hearing was the second such Farm Bill hearing with the first being held by Senator Stabenow in Michigan in May. The current Farm Bill is scheduled to expire following the 2023 crop year, and work is beginning to review current law and various proposals for the next Farm Bill.
Among the witnesses testifying before the hearing were three Ag Council of Arkansas members who participated as grower witnesses, including Jennifer James of Jackson County representing rice farmers, Nathan Reed of Lee County representing cotton farmers, and Brad Doyle of Poinsett County representing soybean farmers. All have leadership positions on national commodity organizations. The hearing featured a wide range of additional witnesses from Arkansas who addressed the various titles of the farm bill.
Prior to the hearing, the Ag Council of Arkansas hosted a breakfast for the Senators. Remarks were provided by Ag Council President John King III of Phillips County, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward, First District Congressman Rick Crawford, and Senators Boozman and Stabenow. Following the hearing and a luncheon sponsored by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, the Senators joined in a field tour at the Judd Hill Foundation Joint Research Farm where they heard from local farmers and Ag Council members Jesse Flye and Marty White along with various researchers who do cooperative research on the farm.