Former Indiana Senator, and Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee, Republican Richard Lugar was touring the Purdue University forestry and natural resources farm that bears his name Monday afternoon. Lugar is the President of The Lugar Center, which has many objectives, but one is to encourage bipartisan governance. He shared his thoughts on the partisan 2018 House Farm Bill.
“I think they’re trying to do the best they can, but our Bipartisan Index indicates how partisan Congress still is. We’re rating members on the basis of whether they offer legislation that has co-sponsors that reach across the aisle to help. That’s just essential. Something like the farm bill could go on forever without cooperation, so we’re trying to stimulate cooperation.”
Lugar is also the co-creator of the organization Farmers for Free Trade. He shared his thoughts on trade with China.
“I don’t know how the President and China are going to come out. I’m very hopeful, however, that they will come out with a compromise that does not affect agriculture.”
Lugar began his day on Purdue’s campus to participate in a roundtable discussion on global food security, another one of the objectives of The Lugar Center. That roundtable was hosted by interim dean of the College of Agriculture Karen Plaut, and included 2009 World Food Prize laureate Gebisa Ejeta; Sylvie Brouder, professor of agronomy; Gary Burniske, managing director of the Purdue Center for Global Food Security; Indrajeet Chaubey, professor of agricultural and biological engineering; Thomas Hertel, Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics and founder and executive director of the Global Trade Analysis Project; and John Lumkes, professor of agricultural and biological engineering.