Six Illinois farmers provided testimony to the committee: David
Erickson, of Altona; Deb Moore, of Roseville; Blake Gerard, of
McClure; John Williams, of McLeansboro; Gary Asay, of Osco; and
Terry Davis, of Roseville. Farmers from Minnesota, Ohio, Indiana and
Iowa also had an opportunity to provide feedback to the committee.
The committee chairman, Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and committee members
Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., and Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., were
among several other elected officials in attendance.
"We're extremely appreciative of Chairman Lucas and Rep.
Schilling and Hultgren for holding a field hearing here in
Illinois," said Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson.
"Hearings like these are extremely important because they enable
farmers here in Illinois -- and across the county -- to make their
voices and needs heard."
While the opportunity to provide testimony regarding the farm
bill is beneficial for farmers, Nelson said there is still concern
when it comes to drafting this year's farm bill.
"Farming is a risky profession," Nelson said. "But having
legislation that supports farmers -- and protects against the
inherent risks associated with farming -- puts some of that risk to
bed. That's why we urge committee members to work in a bipartisan
fashion to complete and sign the 2012 farm bill yet this year."
Deb Moore, a corn, soybean and beef farmer, also testified to the
risky nature of farming and reiterated the importance Illinois
farmers place on federal crop insurance programs.
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"The importance of an effective safety net for farm income has
grown as the rising cost of farm inputs has increasingly pressured
farm profitability," Moore testified. "We support risk management
proposals and other programs that enable us to better manage risk,
maintain planting flexibility and avoid restructuring of the
existing crop insurance program."
Nelson echoed Moore's testimony and added that the 2012 farm bill
should include a revenue program or options for farmers in other
parts of the country. He also reiterated agriculture's commitment to
helping decrease the federal budget deficit.
"As farmers and business owners, we understand the importance of
maintaining a balanced budget," Nelson said. "We're committed to
doing our fair share to reduce the federal deficit by accepting cuts
The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau
Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded
in 1916, IFB is a nonprofit organization controlled by farmers who
join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of
more than 420,500 and a voting membership of 82,973. IFB represents
two out of three Illinois farmers.
news release received from
Illinois Farm Bureau]