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Committee Hears from Minnesota Producers about Farm Policy

Minnesota producers focus on state's success in renewable fuels for place in future farm bill.

Over the weekend House Ag Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and ranking minority member Collin Peterson convened the tenth in a series of field hearings the House Committee on Agriculture is holding to examine federal farm policy in anticipation of writing the 2007 Farm Bill.

Approximately 150 producers and local officials attended the hearing in Marshall, Minnesota, located in the Minnesota's seventh congressional district which Peterson represents in Washington.

Two panels of witnesses appeared before the Committee and provided a broad overview of Minnesota's diverse agricultural economy.

Goodlatte said in his opening comments that visiting Peterson's district gave him a first-hand look at the alternative energy sources Minnesota producers are producing and utilizing. "The candid testimony provided will be helpful to me and my colleagues as we consider the next farm bill. As a national agriculture leader, Minnesota offers the Committee many valuable perspectives on farm policy, particularly value-added, farmer-owned renewable energy," adds Rep. Gil Gutknecht.

Fourteen members of the Committee attended the hearing including: Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.; Frank Lucas, R-Okla.; Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; Gil Gutknecht, R-Minn.; Steve King, R- Iowa; Ranking Minority Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn, Tim Holden, D-Penn.; Bob Etheridge, D-N.C., Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., Stephanie Herseth, D-S.D., Charlie Melancon, D-La.; Jim Costa, D-Calif.; Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa; and Rick Larsen, D-Wash. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., a former member of the Committee on Agriculture, also attended the hearing.

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