NASHVILLE, TN – During the recent American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention here, President Zippy Duvall convened a special meeting for a select group of nationally recognized commodity and farm organizations to facilitate dialogue around the wide array of farm bill priorities and to identify common ground among the diverse group. USA Rice was among the exclusive list of participants, along with executives from every major commodity organization, presidents of state farm bureau chapters, and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), as well as staff from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s office.
Duvall and Senator Moran provided opening remarks for the almost three-hour long meeting and briefly discussed congressional negotiations on funding, disaster relief, and farm bill activity. Moran acknowledged that the farm bill rarely is done on time, but predicted that the chamber would consider the bill during the first few months of the year. He also discussed the importance of NAFTA, and emphasized that while the recent tax overhaul will benefit farmers, a withdrawal from NAFTA would negate any benefits farmers would see.
Following Moran’s remarks, Duvall initiated a discussion centered around priorities for the next farm bill, and potential avenues where the assembled group could work together.
“The discussion was a great opportunity for us to work toward our common goal of crafting legislation to provide some level of certainty in the livelihoods of our growers,” said Ben Mosely, USA Rice vice president of government affairs. “As Congress continues their work to reauthorize the next farm bill, it is important that we continue this dialogue to develop the best possible outcome for the agriculture industry and provide opportunities for prosperity in rural America.”
On Monday afternoon, President Trump capped off the Farm Bureau Convention with a speech highlighting the importance of the agriculture sector. Trump touched on the Administration’s negotiations on NAFTA, pledging to get a better deal for the American people. He also spoke about the upcoming farm bill, and vowed to work with Congress to ensure a timely passage of the bill.
After his remarks, the President signed a pair of Executive Orders boosting the development of broadband for rural communities and directing the Interior Department to make infrastructure available for the deployment of broadband service.