U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, has announced the Committee will begin hearings on the reauthorization of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (“farm bill”) late this month.

The first hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. and will focus on maintaining a strong U.S. farm policy. The hearing will be held in the Senate Agriculture Committee, Room 328A of the Russell Senate Office Building.

“The farm bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation Congress considers on behalf of rural America and our nation’s farmers and ranchers,” said Lincoln. “As we look toward the upcoming farm bill, I will use these hearings to gather feedback on how the current bill is working and lay the ground work for the future of our nation’s farm, nutrition, conservation, rural development, research, forestry and energy priorities. This first hearing will focus on maintaining a sound U.S. farm policy to protect our most vital resource — our food supply. Our food security, millions of jobs and a good share of our national economy depends on the work our farmers and ranchers do every day. The farm bill is necessary and vitally important to ensure we continue to have a safe, reliable and affordable supply of food, while protecting our natural resources.”

As Chairman, Lincoln is charged with leading the Committee through the multi-year process of writing and passing the nation’s next farm bill. Lincoln plans to hold multiple hearings over the next few months, focused on various issues that will be addressed in the legislation, covering the scope of American agriculture. Dates and locations will be announced in the following weeks.