Brown, First Ohioan to Serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, Outlines Priorities for Economic Development and Job Growth in 2012 Farm Bill 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced the launch of his ‘Grown in Ohio’ listening tour during a speech today to the Ohio Farm Bureau in Washington, D.C. Brown also outlined priorities for economic development and job growth and announced the launch of a series of listening sessions across the state in advance of Senate consideration of the Farm Bill.

“I’m looking forward to traveling around the state listening to Ohioans from small towns and agricultural communities to discuss ways to develop new jobs and economic growth in biofuels and other forms of bio-energy.  Through my work on the Farm Bill, I will focus on ensuring that we are making the right investments in infrastructure like rural broadband that allows rural small businesses to expand and flourish,” Brown said. “Creating homegrown clean energy for our country – harnessing our shared land and water resources – is vital for our nation’s energy independence. Producing bio-energy and bio-fuels from agricultural waste and other products can continue to drive our rural economy. But you can’t do any of those things without a strong farm safety-net that serves Ohio farmers and is responsible to taxpayers.”

Brown’s first listening tour will take place in northeast Ohio this April. Brown has held more 170 roundtables throughout the state, including a series focused exclusively on Ohio agriculture and family farms where concepts discussed by Ohioans turned into legislation. At one of these roundtables in northwest Ohio, the concept behind the ACRE program was borne. During today’s speech, Brown announced that he would again commence a series of listening sessions around the state in advance of consideration of the 2012 Farm Bill.

Brown is the first Ohioan to serve on both the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and the Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee. Agriculture is still Ohio’s largest industry. As the first Ohioan in more than 40 years to serve on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Sen. Brown is looking forward to working on behalf of Ohio’s agricultural community as the Senate considers the 2012 Farm Bill. During the authorization of the 2008 Farm Bill, Brown traveled around the state to listen to Ohio’s farmers and take their ideas to Washington.  Brown helped secure six major provisions that will improve and reform the farm safety-net, support rural communities, promote renewable energy, encourage healthy diets, and protect natural resources.