Rep. Conaway, R-Texas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, held the first audit hearing on farm policy last week.

This audit of agricultural programs is the first step in the farm bill process. Each chairman of the six subcommittees will hold hearings to examine programs in their respective jurisdictions to determine spending trends and confirm how programs work together.

This hearing examined the Federal Crop Insurance Program. Subcommittee members looked for ways to reduce duplication between crop insurance and other farm programs, and examined whether the current administration and funding of the crop insurance program is sufficient to meet producer risk management needs.

Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator Bill Murphy testified on behalf of USDA. Subcommittee members’ questions focused on the program’s complexity, how to introduce new programs and how RMA intends to increase participation.