Kuster Hears from Local Farmers, Agriculture Leaders about Priorities for Upcoming Farm Bill
**Kuster Hosts First of Three Farm Bill Listening Sessions**
Kuster speaks to participants at Farm Bill listening session in Boscawen, NH
(Boscawen, NH) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, gathered local farmers and leaders from New Hampshire’s agricultural industry to discuss the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill and opportunities to support New Hampshire priorities. The Farm Bill authorizes a wide variety of agricultural, forestry, and food programs as well as rural development initiatives. The listening session today was the first of three Kuster will be holding throughout New Hampshire.
“Agriculture and small family farms are an important part of New Hampshire’s economy and history, and I’m proud to be the first Representative from New Hampshire to serve on the Agriculture Committee in more than seven decades,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “The Farm Bill provides an opportunity to push for policies that will bolster our agricultural sector, creating jobs, growing our economy, and protecting our environment. The perspective of folks on the ground in New Hampshire is critical for understanding what programs are working, which are not, and how we can make the Farm Bill work better for Granite Staters.”
“These listening sessions Congresswoman Kuster is holding are important because she needs farmers to be able to come out and discuss their needs for the Farm Bill directly,” said Denis Ward, NH Farm Bureau President. “It puts a human face behind those needs.”
Kuster was joined by:
- Denis Ward, President, New Hampshire Farm Bureau
- Amy Ouellette, Associate Director for Programs, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
- Eileen Liponis, Executive Director, New Hampshire Food Bank
- Local farmers and stakeholders
A Member of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, Kuster is committed to helping our local farm and forestry industries expand and grow. She recently introduced the Homegrown Organic Act of 2017, a bill that will modify three existing conservation programs to incentivize farmers who wish to transition to organic agriculture and the Improving Access to Farm Conservation Act, which would remove a burdensome reporting regulation that small producers must comply with in order to apply for a cost-share payment through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
During her first term, Kuster helped Congress pass a bipartisan Farm Bill, which included important measures that would benefit small farms like those found in the Granite State. In the 2014 Farm Bill, Kuster included an amendment directing USDA to partner with local communities to increase investment in rural community colleges, which helped lead to the opening of River Valley Community College in Lebanon.