Alabama farmers will be well represented on a committee charged with sorting out differences between the House and Senate versions of the farm bill.
U.S. Reps. Mike Rogers and Martha Roby, both Republicans from Alabama, were appointed to the conference committee last week by House Speaker John Boehner.
Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell said the announcement is good news for the state’s $70 billion a year agriculture industry.
“We are proud to have two members of Alabama’s congressional delegation serving on this important committee,” Parnell said. “Representatives Rogers and Roby are strong supporters of Alabama agriculture. They understand the urgent need to pass a farm bill so farmers can make planting and financial decisions. We appreciate their work to provide long-term stability for farmers in a way that’s fiscally responsible.”
Rogers and Roby serve on the House Agriculture Committee.
The Senate passed a farm bill in June. The House later passed its version, which separated farm programs from nutrition spending.
Roby said the appointment of House conferees is a positive step toward finalizing the farm bill.
“For almost three years we’ve been working on a new farm bill that would meet this country’s agricultural and economic needs while enacting long-needed reforms to farm and food stamp policy. I’m pleased that the process is moving forward,” Roby said.
“Not passing a farm bill is simply unacceptable, and though the House and Senate versions are very different, I’m hopeful we can find common ground.”
Other Republican conferees from the House Agriculture Committee include: Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa; Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas; Michael Conaway, R-Texas; Glenn Thompson, R-Pa.; Austin Scott, R-Ga.; Rick Crawford, R-Ark.; Kristi Noem, R-S.D.; Jeff Denham, R-Calif.; and Rodney Davis, R-Ill. Rep.
Steve Southerland, R-Fla., will serve as a leadership conferee.
Republican conferees from the House Foreign Affairs Committee are Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.
Republican conferees from the House Ways and Means Committee are Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas.
Democratic conferees from the House Agriculture Committee are: Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Reps. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.; Jim Costa, D-Calif.; Tim Walz, D-Minn.; Kurt Schrader, D-Ore.; Jim McGovern, D-Mass.; Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.; Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Calif.; and Filemon Vela, D-Texas.
Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, will serve as a leadership conferee.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sandy Levin, D-Mich., also were named conferees.
Senate conferees were appointed in August. They are: Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; Ranking Member Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; and Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; John Boozman, R-Ark.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; John Hoeven, R-N.D.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; and Pat Roberts, R-Kan.