Hoyer Meets with Farmers from 5th District in St. Mary's

ST. MARY'S COUNTY, MD - Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) met with Buddy Hance, President of the Maryland State Farm Bureau, and the Presidents of each of the County Farm Bureaus in Maryland's Fifth Congressional District to discuss issues of concern to Maryland's farmers and the agricultural community. Last week, the nation observed Agriculture week, in recognition of the importance and benefits of American agriculture to rural communities and our economy.

"Thank you all for being here today to discuss issues important to Maryland farmers," said Congressman Hoyer. "The farming community, not only in my district and in Maryland but in America, makes an extraordinary difference. Farmers continue to play a major cultural factor in our community by promoting the values of personal responsibility, husbandry of the land, preserving our environment, and working hard. This is a critical aspect of our community."

Congressman Hoyer discussed his concerns with cuts proposed to Agriculture programs in the Republican-passed budgets, the Farmland Protection Program, the tobacco buyout and his cosponsorship of a bill to exempt workers who have used the H-2B program from a cap that has prevented some businesses in Maryland from being able to meet their labor needs.

One farmer also raised his concerns with plans to privatize Social Security stating that, "Social Security needs to remain stable, and not be put at risk." A statement which Congressman Hoyer agreed with and added, "we ought to make sure that the guaranteed Social Security benefit is there for you and future generations. We agree that Social Security faces long term problems, and we need to talk about making some adjustments, but the President's proposal to privatize part of Social Security does not address the problem, and puts everyone at risk."

The Maryland Farm Bureau is the fastest growing Farm Bureau in the northeast with 13,800 member families. They serve as the qualified voice of agriculture in Maryland and educate the general public on issues relevant to maintaining a viable agriculture industry.

Hoyer concluded the luncheon by thanking the farmers from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's Counties, "I think you for your leadership and I think you make a real difference in the quality and character of our community."

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