Saturday, October 22, 2016

Ag leaders band together to protect farmers, ranchers

As the 2015 fiscal year officially ended Oct. 1 for the federal government, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture John Block spoke of pros and cons about the future of the agriculture industry. "In these times of low farm prices, it is encouraging to see farm associations and leaders stepping up to protect our farmers and ranchers," he said. The CEOs of CropLife America, the National Corn Growers Association, and the American Soybean Association became a powerful ag industry leadership team, including the American Farm Bureau, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, and many more, Block said. "The leaders met with policy representatives of both Trump and Clinton campaigns," he said. "Farm leaders of different crops and different priorities spoke in unison. Stop the regulatory overreach. Trade is important to us. We need labor to pick the strawberries. Regardless of who gets elected as President our industry needs to be heard." According to Block's email, the Ag CEO council of leaders has also been meeting with Secretary Tom Vilsack. They have argued that the Obama administration (and the EPA) has been too quick to regulate, that it has ignored sound science, forced new rules on states and rewritten the definition of waters of the U. S., and more. Block and six other former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture have urged Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. "We have seen and experienced the value of other trade agreements that we have supported," Block told me over lunch during the annual National Association of Farm Broadcasters convention in Kansas City, Missouri, last year...more

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