Mark Nelson and KFB’s New Policy Year

Jamie) Welcome to Farm Factor! Let’s join Kyle and Mark Nelson as they discuss the kickoff to the new policy development year.
(Kyle) Hi this is Kyle Bauer. I’m at Kansas Farm Bureau. Today they have a program dealing with commodities and Mark Nelson is the Director of Commodities for Farm Bureau. So I have that right? (Mark) That’s correct. Director of Commodities, Kansas Farm Bureau. I work in our Advocacy Division. (Kyle) Now today, an entire day of program dealing with your commodities. First of all give people an idea of the different commodities, subgroups within Farm Bureau. (Mark) We have eight ag advisory committees, four on the crop side wheat, feed grains, oil and seeds, hay and forage. And then four on the livestock side- beef, dairy, swine, sheep and goats. (Kyle) And the point of today that you bring your people in for? (Mark) We finished up our policy year with our annual meeting in December. Our American Farm Bureau had their annual meeting just in January and really this is a bit of a kickoff to our policy development year. And so we bring our members together and this is our first time that we’ve had a conference where it was…we’re trying to invite all members, any members that want to come, but primarily a lot of times we aim this for our Commodity Advisory Committees, because they’re going to continue to meet at the end of the day and start this whole policy development side. Again, asking and talking about what are the issues that were coming down and we’re going to be seeing through 2016? (Kyle) And for instance one commodity might be concerned about imports and another one might be concerned about exports and another one transportation. (Mark) Oh absolutely. Different things come up with every committee, from CRP rental rates to ARC county payments, the Farm Bill, a bit of review going back and saying hey, do we like the way things are working? Do we have input maybe for the next Farm Bill, because they’re already starting to talk about that. You know things like Old World Blue Stem on our hay and forage committee. So, yea many, many different issues coming from their different committees. (Kyle) Truly you vote on your policy in December but during the Legislative time right now in Kansas or during the Legislative year in Congress things come up that you might need to change policy and you start to look at those. (Mark) Absolutely. Once we set our policy, yes that holds for the year. But again, now we’re starting to look back and say, are there new things we need to be thinking about? Are there new issues coming down the pike? (Kyle) And that amount of fluidness that you need is important, but on the other hand you can’t change until your membership tells you to change. (Mark) Oh absolutely, absolutely. We start with the committees, they make recommendations, they go to our board, they’ll come back to our resolutions committee and we work it through the entire process throughout the year. (Kyle) We’re visiting with Mark Nelson. We’re in Manhattan at Kansas Farm Bureau. He is the Commodities Director with Kansas Farm Bureau. This is Kyle Bauer reporting. Back to you Jamie.
(Jamie) Folks, stay with us – Kyle will be back with AgMark’s Carrie Williams.

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