Federal

NAWG calls for tweaks to federal safety net programs

From Brownfield Ag News The president of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) says current federal commodity support programs must be tweaked before reauthorization in the next Farm Bill. During a House Ag Subcommittee hearing on general farm commodities and risk management today, Kansas farmer David Schemm spoke about his personal experience utilizing both the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) ... Read More »

Lesson #7: Farm bill supporters challenged to focus on the long-game of science

From Agri-Pulse When President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act into law in 1862, he set in motion the development of a system of land grant colleges and helped create the foundation for U.S. agricultural research that’s endured until today. That foundation is still strong, thanks to formula funding established by Congress over the years, but there are new fears that the ... Read More »

WAWG comments on Snake River dams

Before the Feb. 7 comment period closed, the Washington Association of Wheat Growers submitted comments in a letter on the proposed scoping process for the Columbia River Systems Operations Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The letter outlined the organization’s opposition to any consideration of dam removal or breaching, saying, “…it is important that the scoping effort recognize that there is no ... Read More »

Lesson #6: An unsung farm bill hero, rural development needs more champions

From Agri-Pulse U.S. farmers are getting grayer, their national numbers are on the decline and fewer young people are moving back to farms and ranches. The average age of a principal operator of a U.S. farm is now over 58 years old. Absent opportunities for manufacturing, recreation or other industries, many of their surrounding small towns are dying off, too. ... Read More »

NAWG voices support for additional financial resources to develop next farm bill

From NAWG The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) joined 16 agriculture organizations in voicing support for sufficient financial resources to write the next farm bill. A joint letter was sent to House and Senate leaders of the Budget and Appropriations Committees and echoes the sentiments of the House Agriculture Committee’s annual budget and views and estimates letter to the House Budget ... Read More »

Tightening USDA’s budget

From DTN The U.S. Department of Agriculture would take a $4.7 billion cut in discretionary programs next year under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, or about a 21 percent cut from 2017 spending levels. The budget blueprint released Thursday by the White House proposes a $17.9 billion discretionary budget at USDA, down from $22.6 billion for the current budget year. The ... Read More »

Lesson #5: Coalitions key for conservation, crop insurance and farm program success

From Agri-Pulse It’s a time-honored tradition for any legislative advocate to look for partners who can align politically. Over the history of U.S. farm bills – dating back to the 1930s – the “traditional” farm organizations have aligned with a wide variety of other special interest organizations, ranging from labor unions to nutrition advocates and conservation groups. But as attacks ... Read More »

An aggressive trade policy agenda for 2017

By Ben Conner Director of Policy for U.S. Wheat Associates  March 1, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office released the President’s Trade Policy Agenda for 2017. This document lays out the key trade policy principles and objectives of the Trump Administration. Probably the best word to describe this agenda is aggressive. Some might have expected a word like transformative or even cataclysmic, ... Read More »

Linking farm, food programs is crucial to farm bill success

From Agri-Pulse This is #4 in Agri-Pulse’s series on farm bill lessons. The Republican speaker of the House is committed to reforming welfare programs – including food assistance – to fulfill a campaign promise. But farm-state lawmakers are worried about holding together a fragile urban-rural coalition long seen critical to passing a new farm bill. That could be 2017, but ... Read More »

Six weeks later, senators question delay on Ag pick

From the Capital Press President Donald Trump tapped former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to be his agriculture secretary six weeks ago, but the administration still hasn’t formally provided the Senate with the paperwork for the nomination. The delay is frustrating farm-state senators, who represent many of the core voters who helped elect Trump. Read the rest of the story here. Read More »