On March 23, a House Agriculture Committee field hearing series continued in Galesburg, Illinois. It was the second of four hearings to be held across the country throughout March and April to gather input in advance of writing the 2012 farm bill.

Members took testimony from Midwest producers of corn, rice, soybeans, wheat, sorghum, specialty crops and beef.  Witnesses expressed the importance of developing policy that appreciates and recognizes the risks involved with growing food and fiber. They stressed the need for an effective safety net and a choice of risk management tools so farmers can continue to produce a stable food supply and compete in the global marketplace.

"The field hearings give members of this committee a chance to hear how programs are working for our agricultural producers. There’s no better way to accomplish this than to visit with folks in the countryside. It's important to understand how we can write policy that works for all of agriculture," said Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas, committee chairman.

“The Midwest … is blessed with some of the most fruitful farmland on Earth, and produces high-quality, affordable food,” said Illinois Rep. Robert Schilling. “This field hearing is a wonderful opportunity for our area’s farmers to lay out their priorities for the next farm bill to my colleagues on the Agriculture Committee and me. I’d like to extend my thanks to Chairman Lucas and his staff for recognizing the invaluable contributions of our area to America’s food supply, and for including the 17th Congressional District as one of the settings for farm bill discussions.”

Witness testimony can be found here.