Frank Lucas Officially Chairman of the US House Ag Committee- Sees Chance to Put Oklahoma Stamp on Next Farm BillThu, 09 Dec 2010 14:58:13 CST
Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas says he is excited about the opportunity that the Republican caucus is giving him by naming him the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in the 112th Congress. Congressman Lucas has told us in a conversation with him on Thursday afternoon that he understands there will be a lot of challenges ahead of him in the days to come. He expects 2011 to be a year of oversight hearings- to keep tabs on what the Obama Administration regulators are doing to farmers and ranchers- as well as to educate the many new members of Congress that may join the House Ag Committee about the diversity of U.S. Agriculture.
Congressman Lucas adds that 2012 will be his target timeframe to write a new farm bill- knowing there will be less money than in 2008. He says he is open to those who want to get away from direct payments- but that there are more considerations than simply to play to what sounds good on the 6 o'clock news. As he has said before, the Direct Payment is the most compliant element of US Farm Policy to WTO rules- and that is a vital consideration that must be a part of the decision making process.
You can listen to our entire ten minutes or so worth of conversation with the new Chairman of the House Ag Committee- Frank Lucas- just click on the LISTEN BAR below.
Meanwhile, another group is offering their accolades for the Roger Mills County rancher. The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) congratulates Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) on being elected as the next Chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee.
“Rep. Lucas has been a strong supporter of conservation over the years, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with him as we head into the next Congress and upcoming Farm Bill,” said NACD President Steve Robinson. “He has played a critical role in strengthening cooperative conservation throughout the nation and his efforts have gone a long way in ensuring farmers, ranchers and other landowners have the resources necessary to protect our air land and water through locally-led, voluntary programs on the ground.”
As the former Chairman of the Conservation, Credit, Rural Development and Research Subcommittee, Rep. Lucas has a longstanding history of working closely with conservation districts. Lucas also authored language creating the federal matching program for Watershed Dam rehabilitation.
“We are extremely excited to see Congressman Lucas take over the position of Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee; I can think of no one better equipped to do the job,” said Trey Lam, President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts. “Mr. Lucas is a longtime champion of voluntary, locally-led conservation. Growing up in the heart of what once was the Dust Bowl, Frank knows firsthand what can happen when we don't take care of our resources.”
Rep. Lucas has been a strong advocate of the partnership between local conservation districts, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and state conservation agencies.
“As a Western Oklahoma Farmer and Rancher, Mr. Lucas understands the need to ensure that producers have the technical assistance necessary to help them protect our resources while maintaining the cost-share assistance they need to undertake improvements to the land in a manner that doesn't undercut their ability to make a living,” Lam continued. “He knows that the partnership of NRCS, Local conservation districts and state conservation agencies helped roll back the tide of dirt during the dust bowl and that this partnership continues today protecting our water, soil, air and wildlife habitats in a manner that gets the job done while respecting private property rights.”
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