Thursday, July 15, 2010
Report from U.S. House
Programs benefit state’s rural communities
As we continue on our path towards economic recovery, it is important to remember that Mississippi’s agriculture industry is fundamental to creating jobs and jumpstarting our economy. As the only member of Mississippi’s delegation to serve on the House Agriculture Committee, finding ways to uplift our rural communities is a top priority of mine.
While home in the First District last week, I held several events to address the concerns and needs of these communities and find ways to help them grow and prosper.
In Grenada, I met with agriculture producers and representatives from the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) to discuss the importance of the agriculture industry as a job creator, as well as the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill.
It’s critical that North Mississippians’ voices are heard when it comes to shaping this significant legislation. That’s why I’m thoroughly engaged in discussions surrounding the 2012 Farm Bill.
I look forward to taking what constituents had to say back to Washington to ensure that the interests of North Mississippi farmers are protected as we continue to craft changes to this important farm legislation.
Last week, I also met with USDA officials, including Under Secretary for Rural Development (RD) Dallas Tonsager, to help them gain a better understanding of Mississippi’s agriculture industry and see first-hand how critical our rural communities are to job creation and economic growth throughout the region.
The first stop in the tour was a visit to the Institute of Community Services, Inc. (ICS) Head Start headquarters in Holly Springs, which recently received an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act RD loan and grant for a new Head Start facility in Crenshaw.
Next, we visited Cheeseman Farm, also in Holly Springs, which participates in the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP was reauthorized in the 2008 Farm Bill to provide a voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers that promote agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible national goals. EQIP offers financial and technical help to assist eligible participants install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land.
We completed our tour in Southaven at a meeting with local elected officials and producers to discuss the various programs that RD and NRCS have to offer, and how these programs can help North Mississippi communities continue to grow and prosper.
I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support programs that benefit rural communities in Mississippi and to carefully craft and pass important legislation like the 2012 Farm Bill.
As always, please continue to keep me informed about your opinions and concerns by phone at (202) 225-4306 or by visiting my website at www.childers.house.gov.
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