McMorris Rodgers calls for ag committee hearing in Eastern Washington

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CAPITAL PRESS – MATTHEW WEAVER

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers wants the House Agriculture Committee to hold a farm bill hearing in Eastern Washington.

McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said she would like to see the hearing held in Pullman so the committee could also review research at Washington State University.

“I’m going to keep requesting and hoping we can get a farm bill hearing in Washington state to give everyone an opportunity to bring their priorities forward,” she said.

No members of the House from Idaho, Oregon or Washington currently serve on the House Ag Committee.

McMorris Rodgers said she has a “great” relationship with the committee chairman, Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, who is still putting the hearing schedule together.

She held a farm bill listening session April 17 in Colfax, Wash.

Growers emphasized to her the importance of crop insurance and the need for more research on the falling number problem in wheat, she said.

Lawmakers have already proposed amendments to the dairy Margin Protection Program. The program allows farmers to insure the margin between the average national milk price and the average national feed cost. One proposal would require USDA to calculate margins in each state instead of nationally.

Critics argue the current program does not reflect actual feed costs or milk prices.

McMorris Rodgers said she will continue to listen to Eastern Washington growers’ priorities regarding the farm bill.