White House Office of Rural Policy?  Maybe, says Strain

By Don Molino

During his daily report on the Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain reported he will be in Washington through Sunday meeting one on one with members of the congressional delegation on issues facing Louisiana farmers and ranchers.

But it won’t be all work. There will be some play, too. Strain and a host of other Louisiana officials will also be attending the annual Louisiana Mardi Gras celebration in our nation’s capital city, showing off everything good our state has to offer.

According to Strain, there is a lot of pressure growing among several agriculture groups and rural businesses for the president to set up an Office of Rural Policy in the White House with a senior staff member assigned to focus on rural issues.

The first of two hearings by the House Agriculture Committee is slated for Wednesday to discuss the state of the rural US economy while the second one on Thursday will be looking at the pros and cons over restricting the types of food and beverages people can buy with their SNAP benefits.  Louisiana’s 5th district congressman, Dr. Ralph Abraham, sits on that committee.

The commissioner will be back in Baton Rouge Sunday, just in time for the start of the special session of the legislature next Monday morning.