House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson held a field hearing in Fresno, Calif., Monday to review U.S. agriculture policy as the Committee begins the process of writing the 2012 Farm Bill. This is the third in a series of hearings scheduled across the country to consider new ideas regarding Federal food and farm policy.

Six members of Congress attended today's hearing and heard testimony from 11 witnesses on a variety of farm-policy issues. Witnesses included Jamie Bledsoe, a dairy producer from Riverdale, Calif.

"The economic situation facing the California dairy industry this past year was ruinous," Bledsoe said. "While things have improved slightly, dairy families are still experiencing negative margins. In fact, May will mark at least the 18th consecutive month of low milk prices and high input costs."

Read his full remarks.

About 160 members of the community attended the hearing, including local agriculture producers and leaders.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses is available on the Committee web site:

Source: House Agriculture Committee