WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, USA Rice joined a select panel of commodity organizations to brief House Agriculture Committee Members’ staff on U.S. food aid programs and the central role the U.S. agriculture industry plays in supporting those programs. Specifically, the groups warned that any attempts to reduce program funding, or shift funding away from the procurement of U.S. commodities and products would diminish Congressional support of the programs by farm state lawmakers and would be strongly opposed.
USA Rice staff reminded the congressional aides that rice is the most consumed commodity in the world, making it the perfect vehicle to deliver critical micronutrients needed in countries receiving food aid assistance.
“The briefing was a great opportunity to provide staff with food aid program success stories that are humanitarian, diplomatic, and strategic,” said Frank Leach, USA Rice manager of government affairs, who presented at the briefing. “The group was particularly interested in fortified rice that is a powerful tool to fight malnutrition and other diseases and is just beginning to become a standard part of global feeding programs.”
USA Rice’s Leach along with the other food aid coalition members will be making their case in the Senate tomorrow at a similar briefing that is open to staff from all Senate offices.
Leach said, “With action on the next Farm Bill heating up in the House this week, along with increased efforts in the Senate to remove U.S. farmers from the equation, the briefings couldn’t be more timely and worthwhile.”