Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, emphasized the need for a farm bill that provides a safety net to producers, while reducing overall spending. Conaway, speaking at the 2011 USA Rice Outlook Conference, also stressed the importance of cooperation within the agriculture community.  "We will only be successful in crafting 2012 farm bill if agriculture sticks together," Conaway said. 

Conaway noted that the $23 billion in farm bill cuts identified by the House and Senate Agriculture Committees represents a "ceiling" in the Senate and the "floor" in the House.  He also said that nutrition programs could be cut without compromising food security for Americans who rely on these programs.

Conaway is a member of the House Agriculture Committee and serves as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, which is responsible for commodity program and markets oversight, including crop insurance and commodity exchanges.