Louisiana rice producers, including a VP resident, deliver concerns to Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON — Louisiana rice producers met Obama administration officials and lawmakers on Capitol Hill Feb. 9-11, to discuss farm bill issues, trade, conservation and other concerns during USA Rice Federation’s 2009 Government Affairs Conference.

Rice producers Jackie Loewer (Branch), Clarence Berken (Lake Arthur) and Richard B. Fontenot of Ville Platte were among and participants in more than 40 separate sessions with lawmakers, their staffs, and agency officials to voice concerns, especially about the implementation of the new farm law as Congress intended.

Producers urged Rep. Charles Boustany to continue to support a strong farm safety net for the state’s rice farmers. Boustany, a longtime ally of Louisiana agricultural producers, said he would continue to advocate for a safety net and intends to support other legislative efforts of key importance to the rice industry, including the expansion of travel and trade with Cuba.

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