Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) will hold four hearings in February and March to "continue examining farm bill principles and evaluating policy solutions to develop a 2012 farm bill."

The hearing schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, February 15

Title: Energy and Economic Growth for Rural America

A hearing to evaluate policies that make investments in jobs and opportunities for farmers and rural businesses through new markets, entrepreneurship, regional strategies and energy innovation.

Wednesday, February 29

Title: Strengthening Conservation through the 2012 Farm Bill

A hearing to explore the Conservation title's important investment in America -- the nation's fundamental resources of our water, soils and other natural resource infrastructure -- through policies that help farmers maintain soil health, keep our water clean and available, our food abundant and safe and our wildlife plentiful so as to protect the basic principles of farming and our way of life for future generations.

Wednesday, March 14

Title: Healthy Food Initiatives, Local Production and Nutrition

A hearing to explore innovative opportunities in agriculture through policies that assist the development of local markets for farmers - connecting them to the growing consumer demand for locally produced, healthy food options.

Wednesday, March 21

Title: Risk Management and Commodities in the 2012 Farm Bill

A hearing to evaluate the need for and cost effectiveness of risk management tools available to farmers who continue to face increasingly volatile crop prices, input costs and the threat of natural disasters; and how the federal government can provide appropriate risk-management tools while making the best use of limited resources.