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Lawson hosts farmers roundtable

Congressman Al Lawson hosted a farmers roundtable on March 24 to address issues af- fecting the nation’s agricultural industry and rural communities. Lawson represents dis- trict Fl-05, which includes Gadsden, Baker, Hamilton and Madison counties and por- tions of Columbia, Duval, Jefferson, and Leon counties.

During the two-hour dialogue, held at the Tallahassee Community College Center for Workforce Development, Lawson discussed federal crop insurance, nutritional programs and trade enforcement laws administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

He also sought input from the more than 100 attendees, which included area farmers and agriculture industry representatives.

“The Farmers Roundtable provided me the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the men and women who put food on America’s tables and to receive their feedback on how we can better serve them,” Lawson said.

“The issues we discussed are critical for our nation’s growers and have a strong impact on the agriculture system.”

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) discussed the reauthorization of the Farm Bill

“It was important for me to attend today’s Farmers Roundtable to express my concerns about crop insurance and ask how the gov- ernment can help,” said Ernest Fulford, pres- ident of the Jefferson County Florida Farm Bureau.

“I am thankful to Congressmen Lawson and Peterson for speaking with us and listen- ing to our needs. Hopefully they can address some of our concerns.”

Agriculture is a more than $120 billion in- dustry in Florida, with more than 9.5 million acres of farm land in production supporting more than 2 million jobs.

This was the second farmers roundtable hosted by Lawson, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee with Peterson. Last year, he met with more than 60 growers, ex- tension agents and academics in Monticello, Fla., where they discussed proposed changes to the rural development program within the USDA.

Story By: Special to The Herald