FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2007
House Agriculture Committee Reviews USDA Farm Bill Proposals
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) The House Agriculture Committee reviewed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Bill recommendations with Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns on Wednesday.
Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. made the following statement:
I am honored to be a member of the House Agriculture Committee. In Wisconsin, agriculture is the backbone of our state’s economy. Wisconsin’s farms and agricultural businesses generate more than $51.5 billion in economic activity and provide jobs for 420,000 people. About one out of every eight Wisconsinites works in a job related to farming, so it goes without saying that agriculture policy has a very real impact of the lives of everyone in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin agriculture is based upon the vitality and sustainability of the family farm. Some farms are small, others big. But Wisconsin farmers have a tradition as excellent stewards of the land and efficient producers who can successfully compete when given a level playing field.
As the committee moves forward on the Farm Bill, I will work to ensure that this bill protects the interests of Wisconsin’s family farms. Congress must provide a safety net to allow producers to earn their cost of production plus a reasonable profit.
We must promote sustainable food production and help our small farmers maintain their way of life. This serves many interests. The health of our rural communities depends on the health of our farms.
And this is a health care issue. Local and regional foods balance our supply of increasingly packaged and processed foods. We have overwhelming evidence that a diet heavy on processed foods contributes to the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other crippling diseases. The solution to our health care crisis will come from our farms and our diet as well as our hospitals and research laboratories.
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