Feb 26, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC -- The USA Rice Federation's annual Government Affairs Conference concluded here yesterday after three days of meetings with legislators, regulators, and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department's U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Representatives from all six rice producing states conducted more than 53 meetings on Capitol Hill with Congressmen, Senators, and legislative staff specializing in agriculture and trade issues, met with the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, and shared rice priorities with staff at the Senate Agriculture Appropriations, Senate Finance, and House Ways & Means Committees.
Attendees also had question and answer sessions with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Deputy Commissioner Mike Taylor, and Dr. Susan Mayne, the newly installed Director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at FDA.
FAS Administrator Phil Karsting and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Moran (R-KS) addressed the group's General Session and both took questions as well.
Other events included the annual USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Capitol Hill luncheon that drew both House and Senate officials, and PAC events for Senator Moran and Representative Rick Crawford (R-AR).
"This was a very successful conference with participation from all corners of the industry," said USA Rice Federation Chairman Dow Brantley. "And as we heard one of the speakers say, as farmers, we can't just sit back and think, 'well the farm bill is passed for five years, we can just go back to farming.' That's not the world we live in anymore, we need to be engaged and stay active and informed."
Below are photo highlights from the conference.
Contact: Michael Klein (703) 236-1458