The following statement may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall:
“The American Farm Bureau Federation congratulates President-elect Biden on his election, as well as the representatives and senators elected to serve in the 117th Congress.
“President-elect Biden will be presented with opportunities to improve the lives of rural Americans and this nation’s farmers and ranchers, who are facing challenges never experienced in this country’s history. A global pandemic, trade disputes and severe weather have converged to take a mighty toll on agriculture and beyond, impacting families and communities across the United States.
“Unprecedented challenges require courageous leadership and the willingness of all elected leaders to work across the aisle for the good of the nation. Agriculture provides a strong model for that, with a long tradition of aligning behind smart policy, not party lines. We urge all those chosen by the people to use the election to turn the page on partisanship and commit to working together. Show farmers, ranchers and families across America that we will rise to meet the challenges before us together as one nation.
“For agriculture, the priorities include expanding trade and market access so farmers can focus on competing in a fair marketplace. Rural broadband has expanded in recent years, but the time has come to complete the grid and end the crippling disadvantage faced by farms, families and communities without broadband access. The ability of farmers to feed America is directly tied to their ability to attract and hire employees, so we must find a fair solution to the farm labor shortage. We must strengthen the farm bill and build on advancements made toward regulatory reform to remove the barriers to prosperity while protecting resources with which we’re entrusted. We urge President-elect Biden to identify these as priorities.
“In addition, with increasing focus on climate-smart farming, we look forward to building on the great strides agriculture has made in reducing per-unit emissions and caring for the land, water and air -- all while feeding a growing population. Our journey of continuous improvement requires collaboration with the Administration and Congress to expand research that unleashes innovation, build on conservation partnerships, and help producers navigate the field of developing ecosystem markets, ensuring they remain voluntary and market based.
“President-elect Biden’s term and a new Congress begin a new chapter in America’s story. Agriculture has been part of that story since the very first chapter, and we stand ready to work with our elected leaders to ensure farmers and ranchers regain their footing so they can help make America stronger and more prosperous.”