Today, Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-2), Chairwoman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Nutrition, held a hearing to examine the connection between U.S. farm policy and the stability of food prices for consumers. This is the fourth hearing in the Focus on the Farm Economy series, where each of the six subcommittees are reviewing the state of the farm economy from the perspective of the subcommittee. Members heard from a panel of witnesses who explained the share of the food dollar that goes to each segment of the food supply chain, the role U.S. farm policies play in stabilizing retail food prices, and the potential impact that shifts in food prices have on consumers.
“Strong farm policy plays a critical role in providing a stable supply of affordable food for consumers. While the average American spends less than 10 percent of their income on food, low-income households spend upwards of 35 percent of their income on food, making them more susceptible to swings in food prices. As we begin work on the next farm bill, today’s conversation will play a critical role in helping us make informed decisions about good farm policies that impact both producers and consumers,” said Subcommittee Chairwoman Walorski.
“Everyone who eats is connected to the agriculture industry, and it is crucial we understand the impact the collapse in net farm income is having on both producers and consumers. Right now the farm economy is struggling due to a host of factors, not the least of which are low commodity prices. During these hard times, a strong farm safety net allows farmers and ranchers to continue producing healthy food at affordable and stable prices that we as American consumers count on being able to purchase to feed ourselves and our families,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway.