Subcommittee Works on Rural Development Programs

A House Agriculture subcommittee held a hearing Wednesday to discuss USDA Rural Development programs, holding implications for the next farm bill.

On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Specialty Crops, Rural Development, and Foreign Agriculture held a hearing covering the future of USDA's Rural Development programs.

During the hearing, legislators and witnesses discussed programs set or proposed for the coming year and in the 2007 Farm Bill.

"As this subcommittee moves forward in writing a rural development title in the 2007 Farm Bill, it is essential that rural citizens and communities have access and opportunity to flexible development programs that strengthen the fabric of rural America," says Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., the subcommittee's chairman.

"By extending broadband to rural areas and upgrading infrastructure, we can create a better life for rural America," says Ranking Member Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado. "With innovative policies, and a rapidly growing renewable energy industry, there is great hope for more jobs and economic expansion for rural areas. I look forward to working with Chairman McIntyre to make necessary policy updates in the upcoming farm bill."

The opening statements of all five witnesses, including USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas C. Dorr, are available on the House Agriculture Committee website at

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