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Chairman says farm bill debate will also look at consumer costs

The Chairman of the House Ag Committee says the farm bill doesn’t just provide a safety net for producers – it benefits consumers, too. 

Congressman Mike Conaway says farm programs help farmers provide the safest most abundant food supply in the world – and consumers need to understand that.

He says that is one of the key factors in the farm bill debate.  “Every time we go to the grocery store, every time we go to the restaurant we get a deal,” he says.  “We all love deals.  We just don’t know we’re getting a deal or why we’re getting a deal.  I’ve got to show those folks why they are interested in a farm bill.”

Almost 10 percent of American’s disposable income goes to food.  But, as household incomes decline the percentage goes up. 

Conaway says he’ll keep those families in mind as the farm bill debate heats up.  “I’m thinking about that single mom or that mom that uses her food budget to flex,” he says.  “Her rent doesn’t change, her car payment doesn’t change – if something unexpected comes up in the middle of the month, it comes out of her food budget and she has to adjust it.  Why on Earth would I do anything to arbitrarily or capriciously to add to her problems and to add to her cost of food.”

Conaway made his remarks at the USDA’s Ag Outlook Forum in Washington, DC.

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