Berry to Host Farmer's "Town Hall" Meetings

FEBRUARY 17, 2005 - Posted at 12:30 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR - First District Congressman Marion Berry will host a series of three public meetings next week in Region 8 to discuss "several pressing issues with area farmers."

"Significant budget deficits, a growing trade deficit, issues revolving around counter-cyclical payments and other important factors are impacting America's farmers," Berry said.  "We need to assure everyone is equipped with as much information as possible as Congress works to determine what needs to be done.  I look forward to speaking with as many members of the agricultural community as possible."

President Bush's 2006 budget includes proposals to cut farm programs by $587 million by cutting all crop and dairy subsidies by five percent, restrict to $200,000 the subsidies an individual farmer could receive and reduce farmers' marketing loans.

The first forum is set for February 24 at ASU-Newport, beginning at 2:30 p.m.  A second session will follow in Lawrence County on February 25 at the Theodore Andrews farm near Walnut Ridge, beginning at 10:30 a.m.  The final forum will be later in the day on February 25 at the Lake City City Hall, at 2:30 p.m.