The American Soybean Association has established a 2012 Farm Bill working group to develop policies key to the future of U.S. soybean growers. Association leaders recently met with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., to discuss his plans to hold preliminary hearings on the 2012 Farm Bill in Washington, D.C., beginning in April.

"Chairman Peterson told us that after the initial hearings in Washington in April, he plans to hold field hearings across the country in May and June 2010," said association President Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, Ohio. "In early 2011, the committee may hold additional hearings in Washington before marking up its bill in the summer and passing it in the House in the fall of 2011. Peterson anticipates the Senate will mark up its version of the farm bill before the August recess in 2012 in order to complete conference with the House before the end of September of that year, when the 2008 Farm Bill expires."

The farm bill creates the policy that will administer commodity programs, conservation, trade, nutrition, rural development, agricultural research and bioenergy.

Members of the 2012 American Soybean Association Farm Bill working group are: Johnny Dodson, Halls, Tenn., chairman; Dan Feige, Goodwin, S.D.; Ted Glaub, Jonesboro, Ark.; Mark Jackson, Rose Hill, Iowa; Ron Kindred, Atlanta, Ill.; Lance Peterson, Underwood, Minn.; Andy Welden, Jonesville, Mich.; Steve Wellman, Syracuse, Neb.; and ASA Past Presidents Rick Ostlie, Northwood, N.D., and John Long, Newberry, S.C. Joslin and ASA First Vice President Alan Kemper from Lafayette, Ind., who chairs ASA's public affairs committee, will serve ex officio on the working group.