The Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association reports:

Midwest members of the U.S. House Agriculture committee tangled with California farmers over their environmental issues and hopes for a Mexican guest worker program, according to the Sacramento Bee. Committee members from the Midwest appeared unsympathetic toward California farmers' requests for more environmental funding to meet the state's tougher air and water quality rules, and also to their pleas for guest workers to end a labor shortage.

The exchanges "reflecting the vast differences between California's heavily irrigated, labor-intensive produce crops, and mechanized eastern grain belts", came during a four-hour hearing on fashioning a new $19 billion annual U.S. farm bill. The forum was the third of a dozen hearings expected across the nation this year on the federal government's most critical and contentious farm spending bill. Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), noted the 2007 farm bill will be written amid a tight federal budget and said all the funding that Californians want will have to come from farmers in other states.