Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, announced the Committee's first Farm Bill field hearing set for May 31 at Michigan State University in East Lansing. The hearing, "Opportunities for Growth: Michigan and the 2012 Farm Bill," will focus on the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill, examining agriculture, as well as energy, conservation, rural development, research, forestry and nutrition policies that affect Michigan.
The event takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Kellogg Center, MSU.
Panel 1: Welcome from Michigan State University
-- Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, President, MSU, East Lansing
-- Dr. J. Ian Gray, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, MSU, East Lansing
-- Dr. Thomas G. Coon, Director of MSU Extension, East Lansing
Panel 2: Michigan Agricultural Production and Farm Bill Principles
-- Clark Gerstacker, Corn and Soybean Production; Member, Michigan Corn Growers Association, Midland
-- Ben LaCross, Cherry Production; Chair, American Farm Bureau, Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee, Cedar
-- Ray VanDriessche, Sugar Beet Production and Conservation; Director of Community and Government Relations, Michigan Sugar Company, Bay City
-- Julia Rothwell, Apple Production; Chair, U.S. Apple Association, Grand Rapids
-- Ken Nobis, Dairy Production; President, Michigan Milk Producers Association, St. Johns
-- Peter B. Blauwiekel, Pork Production; Member, Michigan Pork Producers Council, Fowler
Panel 3: Farm Bill Stakeholders in Michigan
-- Karen Serfass, Forestry Production; Past President, Michigan Forest Association, Dafter
-- Kristen Holt, President, Quality Assurance International and Senior Vice President, Food Safety & Quality, NSF International, Ann Arbor
-- Eric Davis, Director, Food Initiative, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Detroit
-- Dennis West, President, Northern Initiatives, Marquette
-- James Reid, Reid Dairy Farm, Grant Township
-- David Armstrong, President and CEO, Greenstone Farm Credit Services, East Lansing
The general public may participate in the hearing by submitting written testimony which will be included in the official record of the hearing. Three copies of your testimony can be submitted at the hearing or can be sent to the Committee no later than June 7. You may also submit questions for possible consideration by the panel members during a limited question and answer period before May 26. Send your testimony or questions to [email protected] or to US Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry, 328A Russell Senate Office Bldg, Washington, D.C. 20510.
For up-to-date information on the hearing and Farm Bill process, you can visit the Senate Agriculture Committee website at www.ag.senate.gov.
To RSVP for the hearing, contact the Agriculture Committee Office at 202-224-2035 or e-mail [email protected].