|Me on Capital Hill|
The first order of business was a briefing by AFBF on current federal policy issues that have an
impact on agriculture, including immigration reform, water quality standards, food safety reform for produce farmers and the Farm Bill. All add additional rules, regulations and costs to farming.
Oliver Flake, USDA, presented the factors affecting global ag markets over the next decade. The
main factor is the growing population and the rise of the middle class in developing countries. This sector has an appetite for animal proteins which accounts for the rise in demand for meat and dairy products. The declining U.S. dollar, global crop production, biofuels, and biotechnology are other factors that will impact agriculture.
|We had a great visit to the Australian Embassy|
|We learned about this proposed produce safety rule|
Standards for Produce Safety Under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This policy sets guidelines for growing, handling and storing fresh produce. It’s currently in the public comment stage and Farm Bureau is actively engaged in the discussion.
|Me, Eric Cotton & Nate L'Amoreaux in Congressman David Joyce's office|
Representatives including John Boehner (OH), Paul Ryan (WI), Brad Wenstrup (OH), Bob Goodlatte (VA), David Joyce (OH) and Bob Gibbs (OH). They advised they are working hard on a budget, immigration reform and the Farm Bill among other issues.
The final day we had the opportunity to hear from our two Senators; Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman. They both spoke about the federal sequester that began March 1st. They both believe
spending cuts are needed, but the trick is agreeing on what to cut.
Here are links to some of the articles written about this experience:
Day one of OFBF trip to Washington: Regulations, and more regulations, Farm & Dairy
Washington lawmakers talk budget cuts and sequestration with Ohio Farm Bureau, Farm & Dairy
Boehner Pledges a Farm Bill in 2013, The Lima News
OFBF Presidents Try to Kick Start D.C., Ohio Ag Net
Putting a Face with the Issues, Brownfield Ag News
2013 Ohio Farm Bureau Presidents Trip to D.C.
Thanks to the Ohio Farm Bureau staff for organizing such an educational trip. I appreciate the
opportunity to participate and have a voice with federal policy makers!