McMorris and Agriculture Secretary Johanns Host Farm Forum in Cheney

(Washington, D.C.)  Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns held a Farm Forum today at the Eastern Washington University campus in Cheney. Over 500 farmers and ranchers from all over Eastern Washington attended the event to discuss the upcoming Farm Bill. The Secretary came to Eastern Washington at the request of McMorris, and this is one of a series of public Farm Bill forums being conducted throughout the nation to obtain input on agricultural and rural community federal policy.

“Agriculture is vital to our region’s economy and I am committed to doing everything necessary to get our farmers through these tough economic times,” said McMorris. “The 2007 Farm Bill could greatly impact our agriculture community. This was an excellent opportunity to share concerns regarding the next Farm Bill as well as the current problems we are facing with the county loan rate for soft white wheat and the increase in fuel and fertilizer costs.”

“I would like to thank Secretary Johanns for taking the time to come to Eastern Washington. He was very receptive to the concerns of our farmers and I will continue to work with the administration to protect the interests of our agriculture community.”

McMorris has worked hard to make progress on issues important to the agriculture and resource community and has had the honor of bringing several of her colleagues from D.C. to Washington State for Congressional hearings and forums. In June, she hosted a Water and Power Subcommittee hearing with Congressman George Radanovich (R-CA) on the impact of the ESA on the Snake/Columbia rivers system in Clarkston. In August the House Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health held a hearing in Colville on issues affecting forest health management in the Pacific Northwest. She was joined by Subcommittee Chairman, Greg Walden (R-OR), in listening to expert testimony on wildfire, forest health, tribal lands, and post-fire reforestation. Most recently she held an agriculture forum in Ritzville with House Agriculture Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) that was attended by over a hundred people from the agriculture community.

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