Farm bill, trade top issues on Capitol Hill

The American Soybean Association (ASA) held its March board meeting in conjunction with national Hill visits this week in Washington D.C. to discuss pertinent issues and bring national agricultural concerns and priorities to the forefront of congressmen and senators from Minnesota.

Leading up to the Hill visits, ASA directors and guests had the opportunity to learn more about the current priorities with a policy briefing and to hear from American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall on their top issues, including the farm bill.

“It’s not just a farm bill,” Duvall said. “It’s a national food security bill. Not just for farmers, but for the American people.”

The farm bill was also a topic of discussion with legislators, expressing the need to strengthen the farm safety net, especially to offset the low far prices and income. 

“The number one thing we see and hear is people struggling under this current farm bill,” said ASA director and Martin County farmer Lawrence Sukalski. “We need to come together and make a better safety net for all commodity groups.”

The other top issues discussed included trade expansion, biodiesel demand and the renewable fuel standard (RFS), as well as transportation and aquaculture.

“We are concerned about trade,” said ASA director and Lincoln County farmer Joel Schreurs. “We rely heavily on Canada, Mexico and the Pacific Rim. We are dependent on trade agreements with them.”

Sukalski and Schreurs were two of 10 Minnesota soybean farmers to attend the ASA board meeting and Hill visits. Others who attended included ASA representatives George Goblish, Bill Gordon, Kurt Krueger, MSGA President Theresia Gillie, along with MSGA directors Dana Blume, Mike Skaug, Paul Freeman and Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Director Paul Dahlseng.

The farmers met with legislators throughout the day Wednesday.

Click here to view the complete list of ASA priority issues.


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