NEW ORLEANS, LA -- The Rice Advisory Committee of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation (LAFBF) held its annual meeting in conjunction with the 93rd annual LAFBF convention last Saturday. USA Rice's Vice President of Government Affairs Ben Mosely updated attendees on a range of public policy issues, most notably: implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill, trade, and the ongoing efforts of the USA Rice/Ducks Unlimited Stewardship Partnership.
Mosely outlined USA Rice's success in the last farm bill considering the relatively small commodity size of rice. He also provided updates on PLC/ARC enrollment, comments submitted for the actively engaged provision, incentive-based conservation programs, and several other pertinent programs and provisions.
The presentation Saturday was just in time to announce the passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill by Congress which Mosely said will clear the way for the real work to begin by USA Rice on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). USA Rice supported the passage of TPA and will be working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the United States Trade Representative on the role that rice may play in TPP negotiations throughout the rest of the summer.
Mosely wrapped up with an overview and update on the Rice Stewardship Partnership where he described USA Rice's involvement as "waist-deep in their first Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project where they'll be implementing rice-specific conservation practices in all six rice-growing states." The Partnership is looking at other outlets to both further the funding and the mission of the organizations including a second joint RCPP proposal.
Getting policy staff in the field is crucial to understanding the unique needs of farmers and it's something Mosely truly enjoys.
His efforts were appreciated as Richard Fontenot, a LAFBF vice president and chairman of the Rice Advisory Committee said, "Our members were excited about the diverse but substantial subject matter Ben presented, and we received a lot of complimentary remarks from members of the Rice Advisory Committee following his presentation."
Kyle McCann, LAFBF associate commodities director, said, "Many of our members are not typically engaged in national agricultural policy issues and they were appreciative that Ben was able to provide such helpful insight and in a manner that related to issues they experience on their own rice operations."
"Visiting firsthand with growers and discussing issues that directly affect operations is so important for us and the work we do representing the U.S. rice industry in Washington," Mosley said. "I want to thank LAFBF for inviting me to take part in their annual meeting. We look forward to seeing everyone again when we return to New Orleans December 9-11 for our own annual USA Rice Outlook Conference."