Friday, January 27, 2012

Crawford: March for Life, State of the Union, And Forging Alliances to Grow Arkansas’s Economy

Rep. Rick Crawford, R-AR-1: This week Washington was dominated by two key events, the 39th Annual March for Life and President Obama’s annual State of the Union Address.

On Monday, Pro-Life advocates from across the country converged on Washington to meet with Members of Congress and remind them that life is precious at every stage. I stand strong for the rights of the unborn and I am proud of my 100% Pro-Life record. Every representative, every physician and every American needs to be reminded that at the center of this struggle is the protection of all human life. We cannot live in a society where some life is valued and other life is not.

Rep. Rick Crawford's remarks on the 39th Annual March for Life

Tuesday evening President Obama spoke to the nation in his State of the Union Address. What struck me most about the speech was President Obama’s words, versus his actions. The President talked about creating American jobs and finding new sources of energy during his speech. The Keystone XL Pipeline would have created 20,000 jobs immediately and nearly 100,000 more jobs over time. Keystone also had the added benefit of providing the United States with a new energy source that would make our country less dependent on Middle Eastern oil. Even with these tremendous benefits, President Obama’s actions did not match his words and the President chose to reject the Keystone project.

Rep. Rick Crawford' response to the State of the Union Address.

Just yesterday I was back home in Arkansas meeting with farmers, producers and policy makers for a Soil and Water Education Conference at Arkansas State University. The goal of the conference was to educate those with interests in soil and water management.

Addressing the Soil & Water
Education Conference at ASU
Also this week I co-founded the Congressional Chicken Caucus with my colleague Congressman Sanford Bishop of Georgia. My goal is founding the caucus is to work with chicken producers and leading industry groups to spur new opportunities in Arkansas. Tyson Foods in Springdale and Peco Foods in Batesville provide Arkansans with good-paying jobs. The Chicken Caucus can serve as the launch pad for new growth in the chicken industry and ultimately more jobs.

My column this week talks about the Congressional Chicken Caucus in more detail. Please take a few minutes and read the column that is inserted below.

Crawford's Weekly Column: Forging Alliances to Grow Arkansas’s Economy
Chicken is the world’s most popular meat. The U.S. chicken industry employs over 300,000 people and produces products worth a wholesale value of over $45 billion every year. Arkansas is one of the top chicken producing states in the country and many Arkansans are able to support their families because of the chicken industry.

Chicken’s role in Arkansas’s economy led me to found the first formal group in Congress to advocate for the industry. My hope is the Congressional Chicken Caucus that I co-founded this week will provide a platform to discuss the role a responsible government can play in helping the chicken industry grow and hire more workers.

As Congress begins work on a new Farm Bill this year, the Congressional Chicken Caucus will ensure that Arkansas’s chicken producers, and producers across the country have a voice. Additionally, the Chicken Caucus will educate other Members of Congress on a range of issues like food safety, trade, labor, immigration and the environment.

The chicken industry’s economic impact can be felt in every state and congressional district throughout the country. As the most consumed meat on the planet, chicken enjoys an unparalleled reputation at home and abroad for being safe, wholesome and affordable. In addition to directly employing hundreds of thousands of workers, the chicken industry also indirectly supports farmers who produce feed and companies that make hatcheries and related products.

Tyson Foods, headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas is one of the largest processors and marketers of chicken in the world. Tyson provides products throughout the United States and to more than 100 countries. In Arkansas alone, Tyson employs 2,076 chicken growers and has a statewide economic footprint over $1 billion a year.

In our First Congressional District, Peco Foods in Batesville, provides good-paying jobs to over 600 Arkansas workers and produces a quality product for consumers. My goal in co-founding the Congressional Chicken Caucus is to be a voice for the folks at Peco Foods in Batesville and Tyson Foods in Springdale. Working with Tyson and Peco, I hope to foster new development and move Arkansas forward.

Tags: Rick Crawford, U.S. Congressman, District 1, Arkansas, March for Life, State of the Union, Forging Alliances, Grow, Arkansas’s Economy

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