U.S Rep. Al Lawson Hosts Farmers Roundtable to Address Nation’s Agriculture Industry
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. — Today, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) hosted his Farmers Roundtable to address issues affecting the nation’s agricultural industry and rural communities.
During the two-hour dialog, held at the Tallahassee Community College Center for Workforce Development, Rep. Lawson discussed federal crop insurance, nutritional programs and trade enforcement laws administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also sought input from the more than 100 attendees, which included area farmers and agriculture industry representatives.
“The Farmers Roundtable provided me the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the men and women who put food on America’s tables and to receive their feedback on how we can better serve them,” Rep. Lawson said. “The issues we discussed are critical for our nation’s growers and have a strong impact on the agriculture system.”
House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson (MN-07) discussed the reauthorization of the Farm Bill, a comprehensive bill that ensures that our nation’s farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to be productive.
“It was important for me to attend today’s Farmers Roundtable to express my concerns about crop insurance and ask how the government can help,” said Ernest Fulford, president of the Jefferson County Florida Farm Bureau. “I am thankful to Congressmen Lawson and Peterson for speaking with us and listening to our needs. Hopefully they can address some of our concerns.”
Agriculture is a more than $120 billion industry in Florida, with more than 9.5 million acres of farm land in production, and one of the strongest pillars of our state’s economy supporting more than 2 million jobs. This was the second farmers roundtable hosted by Rep. Lawson, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee with Rep. Peterson. Last year, he met with more than 60 growers, extension agents and academics in Monticello, Fla., where they discussed proposed changes to the rural development program within the USDA.
Rep. Lawson, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee, Nutrition Subcommittee, and has been a strong advocate for the farming industry, sponsoring several pieces of legislation in support. He has met with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to discuss the importance of the SNAP program, and ensuring the state’s research institutions have the necessary resources secured within the 2018 Farm Bill. Rep. also urged Secretary Perdue to commit to full enforcement of trade laws that strikes against Mexico’s dumping of specialty crops and sugar into Florida’s local Ag markets.