John Newton, Director of Market Intelligence for AFBF

(John Newton) Hi, I’m John Newton, Director of Market Intelligence for American Farm Bureau Federation. Today I’m here at the Van Trump Conference where I sat in on the ag policy panel. We discussed Farm Bureau’s position on a number of key issues that impact our farmers and ranchers, whether its trade, immigration, Waters of the US or the need to start talking about the next Farm Bill immediately. So President “Zippy” Duvall appointed a Farm Bill working group this summer, with 16 state staff and some American staff. We put together a number of white papers, webinars and resources available to our members to help them start to think about what the next Farm Bill needs to look like. That material’s available at fb.org/farmbillresources. And so we talked about the need to address this low price environment and fix the safety net for farmers and ranchers across the country. With the new administration coming in, we’re still in a “wait and see” mode but we continue to stress the importance that our farmers and ranchers need a reliable work force available to them that’s high skilled and available to meet their seasonal or year-long demands and so we’ll continue to stress to the new administration the importance of immigration reform in agriculture. One of the things that we look at across the country is that rural American helped elect President Trump. We think that our farmers and ranchers should be well positioned and have a strong voice as we start to think about how we can improve the regulatory environment for our farmers and ranchers, how we can improve the Farm Bill, how we can improve immigration, how we can stress the importance of trade and its importance on the farm balance sheet. So we think we’re well positioned for the new administration but we’re still in a “wait and see” mode at this point. I think the Farm Bureau family, it’s important for all of our members across the country, in every county and every state, to have a voice and to have that voice heard with lawmakers in Washington, DC so that we can stress the important items that need to be addressed across rural America. It’s a privilege to work for Farm Bureau and communicate our farmers and ranchers needs to lawmakers.

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