Mar 05, 2012 — U.S. Representative Bill Owens says it's a big deal that Saranac Lake was chosen to host a Congressional hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill. Owens says it's a chance for farmers and others to influence re-authorization of federal agriculture policy, which hasn't been done since 2008.
"I feel really, very, very honored that the committee has selected the 23rd district for this type of event. There's only going to be four or so of them around the country. So this is very significant. This is an opportunity for us to talk about the issues that affect the north country."
The Saranac Lake hearing is Friday morning at North Country Community College. The others are scheduled in Illinois, Arkansas, and Kansas in the coming weeks.
Owens says there are good reasons for Congress to choose this location for the northeast meeting:
"That was picked because they were trying to get to a location that was part of a large agricultural district, the 23rd. But also because it is the northeast hearing, you're covering really New Jersey, New York, portions of Pennsylvania, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont. This is a very significant geographic area, and they tried to pick somewhere that was relatively speaking, centrally located."
The hearing will give Members of the House Agriculture Committee the opportunity to hear firsthand how U.S. farm policy is working for farmers and ranchers in advance of writing the Farm Bill.