As most folks across East Alabama know, the agriculture industry is a money maker and job creator in our state. The agriculture industry boasts over 500,000 jobs and brings in more than $70 billion total a year to Alabama.
Because of this, I know firsthand how important agriculture is to all of us.
As a senior member on the House Agriculture Committee, I make it a priority each year to hear back from folks across the state so I can best represent them in Congress.
Since I was first elected, I have held meetings with the Third Congressional District Agriculture Advisory Committee, which is made up of farmers and producers from each of the 13 counties that make up the district.
When I am in Washington, I meet regularly with agriculture groups from Alabama about issues important to them. Just in the past few months, I have met with Golden Flake Snack Foods and George Atwood, an egg producer from Alexandria, Alabama, about GMO labeling standards.
I met with representatives from the Southern Crop Production Association on issues important to their organization. I also met with the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association regarding the overreaching EPA and trade issues important to them as well as the American Association of Crop Insurers about President Obama’s dangerous proposed cuts to crop insurance in his budget.
In May, I attended an Agriculture Full Committee Hearing titled, “Past, Present and Future of SNAP: The Retailer Perspective.” Opelika’s own Jimmy Wright, owner of Wright’s Market, testified at that hearing.
This year I supported H.Res. 591, which commends cooperative owners and employees of the Farm Credit System, which was signed into law through the Farm Loan Act of 1916, for their continued service in meeting the credit and financial services needs of rural communities and agriculture.
Today, the Farm Credit System plays a vital role in the success of rural communities in all 50 states and provides over $237 billion in loans to more than 500,000 customers.
I also signed onto to letters that are important to our state’s agriculture industry.
One was a letter to House Leadership opposing a Senate Resolution of disapproval of the Catfish Rule. The catfish inspection rule provides important oversight for American consumers when they buy catfish. It guarantees they are buying American-raised, properly inspected catfish.
Another was sent to the secretary of the USDA, Tom Vilsack, to express concern regarding the Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) recently proposed rule to modify retailer eligibility requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
These are just a few examples of what is going on in Washington when it comes to Alabama’s agriculture industry. I will continue to fight for our hard-working farmers and all individuals in that industry.
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Mike Rogers is a member of the U.S. Congress representing Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District.