Jul 6, 2017GFVGA gives testimony at farm bill listening session
House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, along with several members of the committee, hosted a farm bill listening session, “Conversations in the Field,” at the University of Florida in Gainesville on June 24. More than 500 people attended the session.
Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Association (GFVGA) representatives in attendance included GFVGA President Mike Bruorton (pictured left) of Superior Berries, Secretary-Treasurer Bill Brim of Lewis Taylor Farms and Executive Director Charles Hall.
Bruorton was called on to speak during the session. His comments focused on continued financial support in the upcoming Farm Bill for Specialty Crop Research Initiative programs (SCRI). The SCRI provides block grant funds for various research and educational initiatives in the industry. These initiatives allow Georgia growers to increase the competitiveness of their crops and stay abreast of federal regulations.
“Over the next five years we know there will be a need for more funds to provide the needed research into automation, mechanization and related harvesting efficiency technologies to ease our lack of labor. We know food safety research will be a high priority area so the new FSMA regulations can be based on sound science.” Bruorton said. “We would ask that you increase the level of funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative.”
Following the listening session and attendees remarks, Chairman Conaway said, “I appreciated today’s productive conversation with producers and stakeholders in Florida, Georgia and surrounding areas and look forward to continuing the discussion with producers across the country as we work to craft the next farm bill.”
To watch and listen to the complete session, click here. The GFVGA portion of the session begins at marker 1:23:30. Both Mike Bruorton and Bill Brim filed their comments online with House Ag Committee for review and consideration. Read their full submitted comments here.