Recently, Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) published his most recent electronic newsletter, with emphasis on area cotton producers.

Fighting for Our Cotton Producers

As cotton prices continue to sit at levels below the cost of production, I have heard from many hardworking producers in the 19th District who are struggling to put together a financial plan that would allow them to continue operating,” wrote Neugebauer. “Cotton makes up the backbone of our local economy, and commodity prices affect many individuals and families in our region—from the local gin, to the truck dealer, to the community banker. A strong cotton industry is vital to a strong economy in our area. On December 14th of last year, I joined over 100 of my colleagues in asking the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, to have cottonseed be included in the commodity program. Unfortunately, the Secretary denied the request. This is why last week when he visited the Agriculture Committee to discuss the state of the rural economy, I made it clear to him that the cotton industry could not wait any longer for the Secretary to act, and while we will continue a dialogue with him on why cottonseed should be added, any other actions he can take should not be delayed. Congress must work closely with the industry and the Secretary to do anything and everything in our power to help cotton producers survive today’s global market…

Testifying Before the House Armed Services Committee on Dyess Air Force Base, Bomber Fleets

Tomorrow, the House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing to receive an update from non-Committee members regarding their top national defense priorities for the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. I am proud to represent Dyess Air Force Base and I look forward to testifying before the Committee to ensure Dyess has all of the resources it needs to carry out its mission and to continue to keep America safe. Dyess houses, among other missions, the 7th Bomb Wing, home to 33 of the 62 B-1 Lancer strategic bombers. The B-1 has played a major role in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now in our battle against ISIS. It is very important that we continue to fund the B-1. I also look forward to expressing my support for the Air Force’s new Long Range Strike-Bomber, which the Air Force has designated as the B-21. I have come out in strong support of Dyess to host this new bomber fleet because the base has an unrivaled history and proven track record of success. Dyess, and the bomber fleets the base hosts, plays a pivotal role in keeping America safe and must continue to remain a top national defense priority into the future.


Military Academy Forums

One of the greatest honors I have as a Member of Congress is nominating young men and women to our nation’s service academies. The 19th District of Texas has a long history of sending some of our best and brightest to receive an excellent education and serve our nation. Any student interested in applying to one of the service academies should first consult their parents and high school counselor. This year, all applications must be submitted by October 1, 2016. This Saturday, March 5th at 8:00 a.m., I will be hosting a forum at the Science Spectrum in Lubbock where you can learn more about the process. For those in the Abilene area, I will also be hosting a forum at Abilene Christian University next Tuesday, March 8th at 6:00 p.m. The forum will be located in the McGlothlin Campus Center Living Room. I hope to see some of you there. You can also visit my website to learn more about the academy nomination process and to fill out an application.


The Congressional Art Competition

Each Spring, the U.S. House of Representatives hosts the Congressional Art Competition. Held annually since 1982, this nationwide competition has allowed each Congressional District to highlight the outstanding artistic achievement of one talented student. This is an exciting way for high school students to showcase their artistic talents and creativity, as well as represent West Texas and the Big Country. The competition is open to all high school students in the 19th District of Texas. The winning student’s work will hang in the Capitol Building for an entire year for all Congressmen, staff, and Capitol visitors to see. The winner will also win airfare to Washington D.C. and a tour of the Capitol Building. The 2016 deadline to enter the competition is Friday, April 22, 2016 and all entries and student release forms should be submitted by email to joel.riedel@mail.house.gov. Please visit my website to learn more about the Art Competition. “