Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is scheduled to be the lone witness at the first House Agriculture Committee hearing of the 2012 Farm Bill process, set for next Wednesday.
The hearing will be in the House Agriculture hearing room, 1300 Longworth House Office Building, and Webcast via http://agriculture.house.gov/hearings/audio.html.
The session could provide some clues as to what USDA has in mind for farm bill priorities and will certainly give Members a chance to share their thoughts on current and future farm policy and the path to passing the 2012 Bill.
The hearing, which will reportedly be followed by multiple field hearings in May, makes good on House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson’s (D-Minn.) oft-voiced plan to begin the 2012 Farm Bill process early.
Peterson has said in recent months that grower groups should already be evaluating the 2008 Farm Bill and forming policy suggestions for the next rewrite of farm policy, and he plans to have policy ready if a reconciliation process is undertaken next year.
The NAWG Board approved a 2012 Farm Bill action plan at its meeting associated with the 2010 Commodity Classic, held last month in Anaheim, Calif.
A first step in that process is a survey querying wheat growers about their satisfaction with the safety net provided by the 2008 Farm Bill and new ideas for the 2012 Bill. That survey, intended to be the first in a series, was released to states early this month with a deadline for responses of April 23. Survey results are expected in mid-May.