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News Release

Release No. 0397.05
Kristin Scuderi (202) 720-4623

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2005 - Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced the next Farm Bill Forums to be held as part of USDA's nationwide farm bill listening tour. The public is invited to attend and offer comments on farm bill policy.

"I'm very pleased with the caliber of the comments from producers and other stakeholders and we are beginning to identify trends in their responses," said Johanns. "The comments cover the entire spectrum from complete satisfaction to dissatisfaction with current farm policy. We have heard some very thought-provoking suggestions about how best to shape future farm policy."

The Secretary and Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner will conduct the following Farm Bill Forums:

  • Sept. 27, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. (EDT), Orlando, Florida, Omni Orlando Resort, International Ballroom I, hosted by Secretary Johanns
  • Oct. 5, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. (CDT), Lubbock, Texas, Texas Tech University Museum Auditorium, hosted by Secretary Johanns
  • Oct. 14, Little Rock, Arkansas, time and location TBD, hosted by Deputy Secretary Conner
  • Oct.18, 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. (EDT), Moultrie, Georgia, hosted by Secretary Johanns
  • Oct. 24, 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. (MDT), Greeley, Colorado, location TBD, hosted by Secretary Johanns
  • The following specialty Farm Bill Forums will be hosted by Natural Resources and Environment Under Secretary Mark Rey:
  • Oct. 1, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (EDT), Berlin, Connecticut, Berlin Fair, 430 Beckley Road
  • Oct. 14, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (EDT), Narragansett, Rhode Island, Coastal Institute, University of Rhode Island
  • Oct. 15, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (EDT), Harrington, Delaware, Delaware State Fair Grounds

The following specialty Farm Bill Forums will be hosted by Rural Development Under Secretary Tom Dorr:

  • Oct. 7, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (EDT) Elkins, West Virginia, Elkins Middle School
  • Oct. 11, 3:00 p.m.-6:00 pm. (EDT) Bangor, Maine, Richard E. Dyke Center
  • Oct. 25, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (EDT) Manchester, New Hampshire, Manchester Center
  • Oct. 26, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (EDT) South Burlington, Vermont, Doubletree Hotel
  • Nov. 12, Hawaii, time and location TBD, Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Merlyn Carlson joins Under Secretary Dorr
  • Nov. 16, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (EDT) New Brunswick, New Jersey, Hilton

The following specialty Farm Bill Forums will be hosted by Food Nutrition and Consumer Services Under Secretary Eric Bost:

  • Sept. 29, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (EDT), New York City, New York, Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House Auditorium
  • Sept. 30, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (MDT) Cheyenne, Wyoming, Little America Hotel
  • Oct. 6, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (PDT) Oakland, California, Oakland Federal Building
  • Oct. 14, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (EDT) Baltimore, Maryland, Enoch Pratt Public Library, Wheeler Auditorium
  • Oct. 19, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. (EDT) Miami, Fla. Miami-Dade College
  • Nov. 2, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (EDT) Atlanta, Georgia, Atlanta Community Food Bank

The Secretary has now conducted forums in Tennessee, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, Alabama, New Mexico, Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas, Utah, Nebraska and Ohio. Forums have also been conducted by top USDA officials in Indiana, Wyoming and Alaska, Idaho, South Dakota and Oklahoma.

The public is also welcome to submit their comments via the USDA Farm Bill Forums website at The dates, locations and times of the forums will continue to be announced as they are scheduled and posted on the USDA website.