Jim Stonebrink, Oregon wheat farmer and president of the National Association of wheat Growers (NAWG), wrote to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, R-IN, urging him to hold hearings on possible revisions to the 1996 farm bill.

"This letter reinforces NAWG's belief that we must re-examine all elements of the current federal farm policy," Stonebrink continued. "Chairman Combest of the House Agriculture Committee has announced his intentions to hold hearings on this issue. wheat producers also would welcome the opportunity to share their thoughts with the Senate committee."

Stonebrink's letter follows the Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) hearing on the farm bill. At the DPC hearing, chaired by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-ND and Tom Harkin, D-IA, senators received testimony from farmers and rural leaders regarding the state of the farm economy.

NAWG was especially pleased with Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle's, D-SD, commitment to make farm policy the "No. 1 priority for Senate Democrats" this year. "We will not give up until we get the job done right," said Daschle.

"NAWG deeply appreciates the efforts of Senator Daschle and his colleagues over the last few years," said Stonebrink. "His hearing illustrates the need for the full Senate Agriculture Committee to conduct its own hearings. We must avoid making this a partisan issue. Farmers need Democrats and Republicans to work together to ensure that their needs are met."

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