SAN ANGELO - Agriculture is the lifeblood of Texas, and the stories we heard from farmers and ranchers at the Farm Bill Listening Session in San Angelo last week strike at the heart of why we have a farm bill.

SAN ANGELO - Agriculture is the lifeblood of Texas, and the stories we heard from farmers and ranchers at the Farm Bill Listening Session in San Angelo last week strike at the heart of why we have a farm bill. The farm bill underpins the entire rural economy – an economy that has been under tremendous strain over the past four years. Improving economic conditions in farm country is instrumental in ensuring that Americans continue to enjoy the safest, most abundant and most affordable food and fiber supply in the world.

I am grateful to my seven colleagues who traveled to San Angelo to hear from TX-11: Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Colin Peterson, Vice Chairman GT Thompson, and Reps. Jodey Arrington (TX), Rodney Davis (IL), Roger Marshall (KS), David Rouzer (NC), and Darren Soto (FL). I also want to extend my appreciation for the more than 500 Texas farmers and ranchers who came out to share their stories, and I am eager to take their input back to Washington as we continue crafting the next farm bill.

On the heels of the Farm Bill listening session, the West Texas Legislative Summit's events on Tuesday allowed us to continue the conversation about what the farm bill means to West Texas. Three of my colleagues were able to stay and attend the summit, taking part in conversations about all things agriculture: the next farm bill, burdensome regulations, commodity prices, and much more.

A highlight of the summit was a discussion on community engagement with Congress, where we shared tips on how to best communicate your message to Congress and what we can do to help in return.

If you have comments to submit for the record on the 2018 farm bill, you can send them to this email address: HouseAgListens@mail.house.gov.