MOULTRIE — First District U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston invites the public to attend a field hearing on the upcoming Farm Bill Tuesday in Valdosta. It’s a rare opportunity to observe a Congressional hearing outside of Washington, D.C.

Six farmers from the area will testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, Kingston said. Kingston is co-hosting the hearing with the subcommittee.

“Farmers and everyone else involved with Georgia agriculture are invited to attend,” he said. “This will be just like a hearing in Washington, D.C., but we are doing it in South Georgia where their farms are.”

“We want to make sure that Southeast commodities are well thought about and well understood as we go into the farm debate,” Kingston said, noting that Sen. Saxby Chambliss has arranged similar hearings in Georgia.

Members of the subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Jerry Moran of Kansas, will have a review of federal commodity programs during the hearing. Moran comes from an area dominated by grain production. This is an opportunity for him to see some operations in tobacco, cotton and pine trees, which could be processed into biofuel, Kingston said.

“We do need to look at all crops as a source for ethanol,” he said. “If it’s cheaper than Middle East oil, then we need to do it.”

The subcommittee hearing will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at Pound Hall Auditorium at Valdosta State University

The hearing won’t be set up for a public forum, but the public can write their input to the subcommittee.

“And I’m going to be there, so people can always count on me anytime on any issue. We will be there for ag, and if anybody has a question they want to submit, they can give it to me,” the congressman said.

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