Producers from operations of various sizes and growing a variety of products testified before the House Ag Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture on Wednesday. The subcommittee was reviewing farm bill specialty crop and organic ag programs. Subcommittee Chair Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., says the hearing reminded him of the diversity of products and practices represented by the specialty and organic sectors of the nation's ag industry. He says it's important to address health and nutrition issues in the U.S. by increasing accessibility to healthy fruits and vegetables. Cardoza says the hearing made it clear there's work to do but they're on the right track.
According to Ranking Member Jean Schmidt, R- Ohio, it's imperative to hear directly from growers to understand what is working and what is not working. Given today's regulatory burdens, Schmidt says programs in the farm bill will be even more important to helping the nation's producers comply with potential federal mandates, remain competitive in the global marketplace and continue to supply the world with the safest and most plentiful and abundant food supply.