Texas Agriculture February 3, 2017 : Page 8

U.S. Senate, House committees SXUVXHIDUPELOOÀHOGKHDULQJV By Gary Joiner TFB Radio Network Manager U.S. House Agriculture Commit-tee Chairman Mike Conaway an-nounced plans to launch a series of meetings around the country to al-low farmers to discuss with elected officials the issues facing agriculture and how the next farm bill can help. “The cotton part of the 2014 Farm Bill hasn’t worked and will require an overhaul when the committee begins writing a new farm bill for 2018,” Conaway, of Midland, said. “Cotton will have to be dramatically different because it just didn’t work. The STAX [Stacked Income Protec-tion Plan] program, without a refer-ence price, placed cotton in a world of hurt.” Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) are ready to provide input. The 2014 Farm Bill expires in Sep-tember 2018. The U.S. Senate Agriculture Com-mittee also plans to host farm bill field hearings across the country. Its first hearing is Feb. 23 in Manhat-tan, Kansas, to be followed by anoth-er field hearing in Michigan (date to be announced). AFBF Senior Director of Congres-sional Relations Mary Kay Thatcher said work continues in preparation for the House and Senate farm bill field hearings. “We have three or four issues that we feel like we really need to do a deeper dive into: the ARC county program, the dairy program, generic acres and the Conservation Reserve Program. So we’ll be trying to do a deeper dive into those and come up with some recommendations for our board and trying to help farmers and our leaders get ready to testify before the House and Senate Ag commit-tees about the upcoming farm bill,” Thatcher said. It’s expected that much energy will be directed toward the nutrition title of the bill in 2018, with a major push likely for entitlement reform of the Supplemental Nutrition As-sistance Program (SNAP) and other aspects of the nutrition programs in this country. Committee members warn there will likely be efforts by critics to re-duce support for items like crop in-surance, rural development, conser-vation and agricultural research as a 2018 Farm Bill is considered. Conaway encouraged committee members at a recent meeting to be ready to defend farm programs and to talk to colleagues about spending cuts that have already been made in recent years, according to Agri-Pulse . Conaway said he also is urging farm groups to provide their proposals for the next farm bill as soon as possible. “Good ideas that show up at the last minute may not sound as good as if they show up early,” he said. Conaway said he’s committed to getting a new farm bill enacted be-fore the 2014 law expires next fall, but he says he hasn’t set a timeline for marking up the new legislation. He also isn’t sure yet how much money the committee will have to work with, according to reports. 7H[DV))$QDPHV/DUJHDVH[HFXWLYHGLUHFWRU By Julie Tomascik Editor The Texas FFA Association named Austin Large as the new executive director effective Feb. 13. “We are excited to have Mr. Large join the Texas FFA Association. I know he will be a great fit to lead this organization into its next level of achievement,” Ray Pieniazek, Tex-as FFA board of directors interim chair, said in a news release. Large, who previously served as the Texas FFA’s leadership develop-ment coordinator, brings education-al and leadership experience to the association. Large was also an agricultural science teacher and FFA advisor in F EBRUARY 3 , 2017 California for nearly five years and worked with the California FFA As-sociation as an independent contrac-tor. Most recently, he worked as an educa-tional specialist with the National FFA Or-ganization, focusing on the 212 and 360 lead-ership conferences, the National Leadership Conference for State Of-ficers and the Blast Off program. He also de-veloped and facilitated the National FFA Convention’s student work-shops and coordinated the national delegate process. “I am excited to be at the helm of the largest FFA association in the country,” Large said. “Texas FFA has a storied past and a bright future, and I am honored to work with the staff, board of direc-tors, teachers and sup-porters to make FFA relevant for another 89 years.” The Texas FFA As-sociation has more than 117,000 members in more than 1,000 chap-ters. It was chartered in 1929 for stu-dents enrolled in agriculture, food and natural resources. The program has since grown to a broader-based organization that addresses the needs and interests of students in rural, urban and suburban schools to develop talents and explore vari-ous career paths. “FFA is integral to the three com-ponent model for agricultural educa-tion. FFA provides a venue for stu-dents to develop premier leadership, personal growth and career success,” Large, who is a former FFA member, said. “Students who complete our program are essential to building lo-cal communities and strengthening agriculture.” Large succeeds Tom Maynard, who retired Jan. 9 after serving as the association’s executive director for 17 years. 8

Texas FFA Names Large as Executive Director

Julie Tomascik

The Texas FFA Association named Austin Large as the new executive director effective Feb. 13.

“We are excited to have Mr. Large join the Texas FFA Association. I know he will be a great fit to lead this organization into its next level of achievement,” Ray Pieniazek, Texas FFA board of directors interim chair, said in a news release.

Large, who previously served as the Texas FFA’s leadership development coordinator, brings educational and leadership experience to the association.

Large was also an agricultural science teacher and FFA advisor in California for nearly five years and worked with the California FFA Association as an independent contractor.

Most recently, he worked as an educational specialist with the National FFA Organization, focusing on the 212 and 360 leadership conferences, the National Leadership Conference for State Officers and the Blast Off program. He also developed and facilitated the National FFA Convention’s student workshops and coordinated the national delegate process.

“I am excited to be at the helm of the largest FFA association in the country,” Large said. “Texas FFA has a storied past and a bright future, and I am honored to work with the staff, board of directors, teachers and supporters to make FFA relevant for another 89 years.”

The Texas FFA Association has more than 117,000 members in more than 1,000 chapters. It was chartered in 1929 for students enrolled in agriculture, food and natural resources. The program has since grown to a broader-based organization that addresses the needs and interests of students in rural, urban and suburban schools to develop talents and explore various career paths.

“FFA is integral to the three component model for agricultural education. FFA provides a venue for students to develop premier leadership, personal growth and career success,” Large, who is a former FFA member, said. “Students who complete our program are essential to building local communities and strengthening agriculture.”

Large succeeds Tom Maynard, who retired Jan. 9 after serving as the association’s executive director for 17 years.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Texas+FFA+Names+Large+as+Executive+Director/2703954/381757/article.html.

U.S. Senate, House Committees Pursue Farm Bill Field Hearings

Gary Joiner

U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway announced plans to launch a series of meetings around the country to allow farmers to discuss with elected officials the issues facing agriculture and how the next farm bill can help.

“The cotton part of the 2014 Farm Bill hasn’t worked and will require an overhaul when the committee begins writing a new farm bill for 2018,” Conaway, of Midland, said. “Cotton will have to be dramatically different because it just didn’t work. The STAX [Stacked Income Protection Plan] program, without a reference price, placed cotton in a world of hurt.”

Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) are ready to provide input. The 2014 Farm Bill expires in September 2018.

The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee also plans to host farm bill field hearings across the country. Its first hearing is Feb. 23 in Manhattan, Kansas, to be followed by another field hearing in Michigan (date to be announced).

AFBF Senior Director of Congressional Relations Mary Kay Thatcher said work continues in preparation for the House and Senate farm bill field hearings.

“We have three or four issues that we feel like we really need to do a deeper dive into: the ARC county program, the dairy program, generic acres and the Conservation Reserve Program. So we’ll be trying to do a deeper dive into those and come up with some recommendations for our board and trying to help farmers and our leaders get ready to testify before the House and Senate Ag committees about the upcoming farm bill,” Thatcher said.

It’s expected that much energy will be directed toward the nutrition title of the bill in 2018, with a major push likely for entitlement reform of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other aspects of the nutrition programs in this country.

Committee members warn there will likely be efforts by critics to reduce support for items like crop insurance, rural development, conservation and agricultural research as a 2018 Farm Bill is considered.

Conaway encouraged committee members at a recent meeting to be ready to defend farm programs and to talk to colleagues about spending cuts that have already been made in recent years, according to Agri-Pulse. Conaway said he also is urging farm groups to provide their proposals for the next farm bill as soon as possible.

“Good ideas that show up at the last minute may not sound as good as if they show up early,” he said.

Conaway said he’s committed to getting a new farm bill enacted before the 2014 law expires next fall, but he says he hasn’t set a timeline for marking up the new legislation. He also isn’t sure yet how much money the committee will have to work with, according to reports.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/U.S.+Senate%2C+House+Committees+Pursue+Farm+Bill+Field+Hearings/2703956/381757/article.html.

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