(Jamie) Thanks for staying with us! Now Duane and Raylen will talk about the ways the Association represents soybean growers’ interests.
(Duane) Duane Toews joining you once again from the Kansas Soybean Expo held in Topeka, Kansas, in conjunction with the Topeka Farm Show. An opportunity during the Soybean Expo to catch up with Raylen Phelon, President of the Kansas Soybean Association. Raylen, obviously we think about the association and its work, a lot of behind the scenes things that sometimes growers don’t even realize that the association is representing their interests. There have been a number of those in the past year and likely to continue. (Raylen) Yea and that’s just maintaining, building and maintaining good relationships with our elected officials, whether it’s here in Topeka at the Statehouse or our elected officials whether it’s our Congressmen and women in Washington, D.C., or our Senators in D.C. Made several trips over the past year or two back and forth to Washington and to the Statehouse just to build these relationships and work with them on some of key bills that have been coming out of Congress. (Duane) We think about some of those hot button topics that have been at the forefront of people’s minds. Waters of the U.S., one that isn’t settled yet, but at least we’ve got some relief for the time being. (Raylen) We have been talking with our representatives on the WOTUS, or Waters of the U.S. and they’re just about as frustrated as we are. They’ve got the EPA that has come up with these rules and they’re just not workable. They need to go back to the drawing board and refigure them. Congress is doing what they can as far as the funding aspects. They’re looking at maybe not funding some of these bills. But they’re concerned. We’re concerned. And we are working together to see what we can do to get things changed. (Duane) As far as some of the tax implications, 179 along with some other issues in that regard that we have some more clarity on at this point. (Raylen) The 179, that’s been a big one over the past several years, come up to the end of the year and get renewed and we’d have maybe 14 days, a couple weeks to make decisions and make purchases. Now it’s actually been made permanent, so that’s a huge success. And I know, that we have talked about that every time we have gone to D.C. Just in the past year I’ve gone a couple of times and that’s been on the forefront of our Congressmen and women and our Senators and so they’re glad to see this done because they’re tired of it too. And they want it, so we can plan. And it’s not just for farmers, it’s for the local dealership. It’s for the mechanics. Anybody that buys new equipment they need to be able to make tax decisions and put these in place before the end of the year. (Duane) We think about renewable fuels, biodiesel in particular, a couple of things to talk about there between the blenders tax credit and also then the renewable fuels standard? (Raylen) Yea, the blender’s tax credit, that’s a big one where they’ve got the dollar tax incentive. It’s not as low as I would like it to be, but I know they are making some headway. So, we’ll take little baby steps and maybe take bigger steps down the road. The renewable fuel standard, you know we’ve still got to continue to work on that. There’s a lot of things that… we want ethanol. We want biodiesel in place. We want it included in the fuels and we’ve just got to get Congress on the same page as us and get the laws in place. (Duane) Final thoughts Raylen about the association, some of the things they are doing on behalf of growers. (Raylen) You know we’re working for all of Kansas growers. And I will just make a plug for our membership. We’ve got 5,000 soybean growers in the state of Kansas and we’ve got 400-500. We really need to, all the farmers or most of the farmers, they need to step up to the plate and become members, cause that’s one of the things that they ask us when we go to D.C., well how many members do you have now? So, they want to know how many farmers that are representing them. And it’s a small amount, small cost to join and it’s a huge benefit. (Duane) Alright, thanks to Raylen Phelon, joining us, President of the Kansas Soybean Association at the Kansas Soybean Expo in Topeka. Jamie, we’ll send it back to you.
(Jamie) Don’t go away, after the break we’ll meet Randy Stookey, President of the Kansas Agricultural Alliance.