On Thursday, Dec. 5, the Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance will hold their 2019 Ag Policy Forum at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. There is still time to get registered (link can be accessed by clicking the picture above). I’ll be there to moderate a panel discussion on how farmers can impact federal policy.
Trade is, obviously, a top policy issue right now. National Corn Growers Association Vice President of Public Policy Brooke Appleton, one of the panelists, says getting USMCA passed in 2019 is their top priority.
“In order to get bigger trade deals done, we need to get USMCA passed and out of the way so we can move on and show some of our other trading partners that we can cut a deal, we can work together. I think it will send a good signal to our other trading partners once we can get USMCA out of the way.”
Another panelist, American Soybean Association Executive Director of Government Affairs Christy Seyfert echoed those sentiments and said their members are getting active in that battle.
“We had a handful growers who came into town last week who stopped harvest- again, they stopped harvest, to come into D.C. and talk about the urgency of USMCA getting across the finish line in short order.”
As for the Renewable Fuel Standard, the corn and ethanol industry are up against one of the most powerful lobbying forces in Washington, D.C.- the oil lobby. So, what will it take to beat them?
“Our grassroots efforts are what we have that other associations or other corporations don’t have. Having that farmer voice is so important and people listen when the farmers speak up. So, we just try to let them know that they really do have a voice and they do have power when it comes to their opinions on federal policy issues.”
Seyfert agreed, saying there are a number of ways to get engaged. One way that she finds to be most impactful is showing up in person.
“Making a difference by burning that shoe leather on the Hill is so important with our government officials.
In addition to hearing from Appleton and Seyfert, ASA farmer-director Kendell Culp from Rensselaer and NCGA farmer-director Denny Maple from Greentown will be on the panel to discuss their experiences in advocating for their fellow farmers. You can register for the event here.
Other speakers for the day include:
Jason Henderson, Director of Purdue Extension- “Profitability in Agriculture’s ‘New Normal'”
Josh Trenary, Indiana Pork Producers Association, and John Shoup, Indiana Ag Law Foundation- “Undercover Videos, Trespass, Right-To-Farm Law”
Dr. Jim Mintert, Director for the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture- “Growth Strategies- Moving Beyond Adding Acres”
Ben Wicker, Executive Director, Indiana Ag Nutrient Alliance