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Senate Agriculture Committee Resumes Work on Farm Bill, Schedules Hearings

With the failure of the Super Committee Process last fall, Agriculture Committee leaders now resume work on the 2012 Farm Bill through a more normal process that involves hearings, committee mark-ups, and a committee and floor amendment process, according to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). 

Chairwoman Stabenow announced four Senate Agriculture Committee hearings on the 2012 Farm Bill in February and March.  The hearings will focus on the following topics:

  • February 15: Energy and economic growth for Rural America
  • February 29: Strengthening conservation through the 2012 Farm Bill
  • March 14: Health food initiatives, local production, and nutrition
  • March 21: Risk management and commodities in the 2012 Farm Bill

Chairman Lucas has not yet announced any 2012 Farm Bill hearings in the House Agriculture Committee.

The current farm bill expires on September 30, 2012, and Congress must take action on farm policy by then. That action can come in the form of passing a new farm bill or passing an extension of current law. Significant political, budget, and committee factors will influence that choice as well as the timing of the farm bill process this year. For a deeper analysis, see this article by NSAC.