The Senate Ag Committee is holding its second hearing on the next farm bill today, with the topic being "Strengthening Conservation Through the 2012 Farm Bill."
In her opening statement, Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chairwoman of the Senate Ag Committee, reiterated that "the Farm Bill is a jobs bill, and that's as true of the conservation title as it is for anything else in the Farm Bill."
Stabenow also explained that with the global population expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050, global food needs are expected to double. As a result, "The pressure to produce more on the same or fewer acres, while still facing weather, price and input risks beyond their control, will stress agricultural producers for decades to come. Working lands conservation sits at the very core of our ability to meet these production challenges without sacrificing our vital natural resources."
A common theme of the hearings was that the coming farm bill should continue the efforts of the Super Committee-linked farm bill proposal last year toward simplifying existing conservation programs into fewer programs while maintaining the same tools.
Administrator Bruce Nelson of the Farm Service Agency and David White, chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, are among those set to testify today.
Watch a video of the hearings here.