New Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) touched on everything from farm bill programs to the regulatory system in her first in her new leadership role. In the speech, delivered before the Michigan Agri-Business Association’s winter conference, she gave important clues as to her positions on issues of concern to wheat growers and others.
She indicated that passages on key issues were needed, including those involving the regulatory system. “With almost 7 billion mouths to feed around the globe, we need American leadership in innovation, biotechnology and increased efficiency to make it possible to feed the world,” she says. “To foster that innovation, we need a regulatory system that is science-based and efficient.”
Speaking on the importance of trade, Stabenow says, “We also need to continue opening markets around the world. As a member of the President’s Export Council, I know the importance of not only creating but also enforcing trade agreements with other countries.”
She adds that she looks forward to writing the next farm bill. “I am fully committed to a strong safety net,” she says. “There is no question that we have serious budget pressures, and so we will need to find creative solutions to help our growers manage risk. The safety net might look a little different than it does now, but we can't have family businesses going under because of a few days of bad weather.”
Stabenow says she is looking forward to working with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK), with whom she worked when she served on the House Committee, and presumptive Ranking Member of the Senate Committee, Pat Roberts (R-KS). Stabenow also said she is planning a series of field hearings and a nationwide e-newsletter to keep constituents updated on Senate Agriculture Committee activities.
For more on Sen. Stabenow, go to http://stabenow.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=125