Friday, May 27, 2011

Chairwoman Stabenow Announces First Farm Bill Field Hearing in East Lansing, Michigan

Chairwoman Stabenow Announces First Farm Bill
Field Hearing in East Lansing, Michigan

Washington, DC – Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, announced the Committee’s first Farm Bill field hearing will be held on May 31 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. The hearing, “Opportunities for Growth: Michigan and the 2012 Farm Bill,” will focus on the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill (which determines agriculture policies every five years), examining agriculture as well as energy, conservation, rural development, research, forestry and nutrition policies that affect Michigan. Witnesses and other details noted below.

A live audio feed of the hearing will be broadcast on the Committee’s website beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST at An archived video of the hearing will be available on the website in the days following the hearing.

Tuesday, May 31 – East Lansing, Michigan
Senate Agriculture Committee Field Hearing
Opportunities for Growth: Michigan and the 2012 Farm Bill
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, Michigan State University



Panel 1:  Welcome from Michigan State University

•    Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, President, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
•    Dr. J. Ian Gray, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
•    Dr. Thomas G. Coon, Director of Michigan State University Extension, East Lansing, MI

Panel 2:  Michigan Agricultural Production and Farm Bill Principles

•    Mr. Clark Gerstacker, Corn and Soybean Production; Member, Michigan Corn Growers Association, Midland, MI
•    Mr. Ben LaCross, Cherry Production; Chair, American Farm Bureau, Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee, Cedar, MI
•    Mr. Ray VanDriessche, Sugar Beet Production and Conservation; Director of Community and Government Relations, Michigan Sugar Company, Bay City, MI
•    Ms. Julia Rothwell, Apple Production; Chair, U.S. Apple Association, Belding, MI
•    Mr. Ken Nobis, Dairy Production; President, Michigan Milk Producers Association, St. Johns, MI
•    Mr. Peter B. Blauwiekel, Pork Production; Member, Michigan Pork Producers Council, Fowler, MI

Panel 3:  Farm Bill Stakeholders in Michigan

•    Mrs. Karen Serfass, Forestry Production; Past President, Michigan Forest Association, Dafter, MI
•    Ms. Kristen Holt, President, Quality Assurance International (QAI) and Senior Vice President, Food Safety & Quality, NSF International, Ann Arbor, MI
•    Mr. Eric Davis, Director, Food Initiative, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Detroit, MI
•    Mr. Dennis West, President, Northern Initiatives, Marquette, MI
•    Mr. James Reid, Reid Dairy Farm, Grant Township, MI
•    Mr. David Armstrong, President and CEO, Greenstone Farm Credit Services, East Lansing, MI

Public Participation
The general public may participate in the hearing by submitting written testimony which will be included in the official record of the hearing. Three copies of your testimony can be submitted at the hearing or can be sent to the Committee no later than June 7, 2011. You may also submit questions for possible consideration by the panel members during a limited question and answer period before May 26, 2011. Send your testimony or questions to or to US Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry, 328A Russell Senate Office Bldg, Washington, D.C. 20510.

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