In agriculture all eyes are on the next farm bill, but it is important that farmers’ voices are heard as the bill is being written. The nation’s largest farm organization, American Farm Bureau Federation, is confident that members of the House and Senate Ag committees know what their farmers’ priorities are. But, Zippy Duvall, AFBF president, says farmers should keep up the legislative engagement.
“Constantly communicate with them week in and week out,” he said, “and then when these congressmen and senators and other representatives come to their community and have town hall meetings our farmers need to get off their tractors and out of their barns and then need to be present. They need to tell them what they need and they need to stand behind these people that they’ve sent to Washington to work for them. We need to understand that we don’t work for Washington. Washington works for us and our farmers need to seize this moment because we have an atmosphere in Washington that wants to do the right thing. Around food, I think this administration, this congress wants to do the right thing, but they won’t do it without being pushed by the grassroots of this organization, our farmers and ranchers. So, engagement is what’s going to mean success.”
Duvall says if there is a fight to ensure there are no cuts to crop insurance, that congressional engagement is again critical.
“We’ve got to make sure that we have congressmen and senators who understand the importance of crop insurance. Crop insurance is a requirement of most lending institutions today, and it is important to have that risk management tool there for our farmers.”
Duvall met last week with the media in the offices of Indiana Farm Bureau. See more in the HAT video.