CAWG President Testifies Before House Ag Committee


May 6, 2010, Centennial, Colo. Jerry Cooksey, Roggen, President of the Colorado Association of Wheat Growers, testified before the House Agriculture Committee in Cheyenne, Wyo., May 4. Cooksey was one of ten invited witnesses and one of only five invited agricultural producers at this hearing, and was the only crop producer from Colorado.

The purpose of the hearing was to review U.S. agriculture policy in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill. Members of the Ag Committee present at the meeting were Chairman Collin Peterson (D. Minn.), Betsy Markey (D. Colo.), Cynthia Lummis (R. – Wyo.), Jeff Fortenberry, (R. Neb.), Frank D. Lucas, (R.- Okla.), Dennis Cardoza (D. Calif.). K. Michael Conaway (R. Texas) and Adrian Smith (R. Neb.).

Cookseys testimony emphasized the need for an effective farm safety net in the 2012 Farm Bill. Cooksey spoke on the importance of conservation programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), continuing support for trade promotion programs such as Foreign Market Development (FMD) and the Market Access Program (MAP), and the need for improved crop insurance coverage. Cooksey laid the foundation for his testimony by citing the volatility of Colorado average winter wheat yields (22-40 bushels per acre) and prices ($2.70-$6.47 per bushel) over the past ten years.

Cooksey said the direct payment is the most reliable, World Trade Organization (WTO) compliant safety net mechanism for wheat farmers. CAWG also supports a strong, properly funded crop insurance program that provides meaningful coverage for wheat producers. Cooksey said, Higher revenue coverage at reduced rates would be very beneficial to producers.

For the complete text of Cookseys testimony, please visit www.coloradowheat.org.

The Committee will also collect public comments about the Farm Bill on its website: http://agriculture.house.gov/inside/feedbackform.html. All comments received online by June 14, 2010 will be included in the Committees Farm Bill field hearing record.

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