Farm Bill needs to address the needs of diverse group of farmers and ranchers.
Arkansas’s First Congressional District is home to a diversified agricultural economy. In the fertile Mississippi River Delta we grow cotton, rice, corn, soybeans, wheat, peanuts and even raise catfish. In stark contrast to the Delta stand the Ozark Foothills where we have poultry, cattle, and timber producers. More rice is produced in my congressional district than any other district in the nation. In fact, farm families in my district grow nearly half of all rice produced in the U.S. Annually, agriculture in Arkansas is a $16-billion economic juggernaut that employs over 260,000 Arkansans.
Of all the members on the House Agriculture Committee, I am the only representative from the Mid-South, so it is my job to educate members of the Agriculture Committee from other corners of the country about the unique challenges Arkansas’s producers face. Just as manufacturers face competition from overseas, Arkansas farmers also feel the pressure from foreign markets. I am proud that American farmers produce the safest, most reliable, most abundant supply of food on the planet. But if the great success story of American agriculture is to continue, Congress must write and pass a responsible Farm Bill that works for all farm families across the country.
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