After Tuesday’s elections, many Americans are either feeling like their voice was heard or the outcome was not what they wanted. From here, we must come together and work towards agreements and legislation that will propel America forward. Many national farm groups made comments of the results of the 2018 midterms and are looking forward to the opportunities to create new legislation.
Farm Bureau Looks Forward to Working with New Congress
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, “We look forward to working with the new Congress to strengthen agriculture by fixing the ag labor problems we face, boosting our farm economy via export growth and reducing the burden and cost of federal regulations. Supporting the use of farm-grown fuels, fixing our nation’s broken infrastructure, supporting agricultural research, and bridging the broadband gap that hurts rural America are also important for a strong agriculture. We hope that the newly elected leaders across the nation will join us in unifying behind these goals.
“It is clear that rural voters turned out for this election and we are proud of them. We stand ready to work with this wave of elected leaders who will stand up for farmers and ranchers and our ability to feed our nation.”
NAWG Calls on Congress to Make Farm Bill a Priority During Lame Duck
National Association Wheat Growers President and Oklahoma wheat grower Jimmie Musick has issued the following statement: “While the 2018 midterm elections brought change to the political makeup of Congress, this should not impact the priority of passing the 2018 farm bill by the end of this session of Congress. With the farm bill having expired, growers are left with much uncertainty and are denied access to several beneficial programs within the bill.
“In particular, the outlook for foreign market development funding is in doubt until action is taken. Additionally, the USDA no longer has the authority to undertake new sign-ups for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) which incentivizes growers to incorporate healthy soil, non-tillage, and other similar practices into their operations.
“NAWG congratulates those who were newly elected to the 116th Congress and commends you for pursuing a career in public service. The economy in Rural America is struggling and we need strong supporters of agriculture to bring it out of these difficult times. NAWG urges Congress to pass the 2018 farm bill during lame duck and is looking forward to working with the new congress on overseeing implementation of the bill and educating them on the value of the wheat industry.”
American Soybean Association Looks to Future with Hopes of New Farm Bill
Agriculture has always depended on support from both sides of the aisle, and now that the midterm elections are over, the American Soybean Association (ASA) expects that longstanding bipartisan cooperation to be renewed. ASA reiterates its request for the now lame-duck 115th Congress to pass a new five-year bill that can provide greater certainty and long-term stability during a down farm economy and time of trade strife. It is also important to reaffirm our commitment to conservation practices, invest in agricultural research and work to expand new markets for soybeans.
John Heisdorffer, ASA president and soybean grower from Keota, Iowa, said, “The Farm Bill is our greatest risk management tool. With the economic challenges facing all farmers today, tools such as crop insurance, as well as ARC & PLC, are invaluable.” Heisdorffer went on to explain, “In addition to support from farm programs, funding for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program and Market Access Program (MAP) is needed. FMD funding has already lapsed, and MAP funding will run out at year’s end. These programs are critical to the soybean industry, particularly with the need to open and expand markets to offset sales lost to China.”
ASA remains positive that Members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees can resolve differences between their respective bills and agree on a compromise version in December. A Conference Report that both chambers would then approve before adjourning rather than extending the 2014 farm bill would be a welcome parting gift from the 115th Congress to the ag community.