Today, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing entitled, “Climate Change and the U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Sectors.” During the hearing, Rep. Austin Scott (GA-08) spoke on the importance of reforming federal disaster assistance programs to more readily assist farmers and ranchers following natural disasters.

In their testimonies, several of today’s witnesses mentioned Hurricane Michael, which devastated much of Middle and South Georgia in 2018 and left an estimated $3 billion of agricultural damages in its wake. The University of Georgia Extension and the other land grant universities provided data and damage estimates on the 2018 natural disasters. Some of these institutions were represented on the witness panel today, and Rep. Scott and others thanked for their work.

To assist these producers impacted by Hurricane Michael, Rep. Scott, Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02), and Rep. David Scott (GA-13) were able to secure increased funding for the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) to provide relief for producers impacted by the storm and other natural disasters in 2018.

Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) also testified in today’s hearing and supported Rep. Scott’s remarks on the need to reform federal disaster assistance to better serve producers impacted by natural disasters.

During the hearing, Rep. Scott also touched on farm conservation measures. Climate has a profound impact on the agriculture industry and natural resources. Producers are often seen as some of the best stewards of land, and American farmers have a vested interest in practicing sound conservation measures.

You can click here to watch Rep. Scott’s remarks on this and further remarks on farm conservation measures.