Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

AFBF Priorities Include Trade, Farm Bill in the 117th Congress

News / Newsline December 30, 2020

Credit: Nicolas Raymond // CC BY 2.0 

The American Farm Bureau Federation is looking ahead to the 117th Congress. Chad Smith has more on AFBF’s priorities in the new year.

Smith: Getting to know the new faces in Congress will be a big priority for the American Farm Bureau. Dale Moore is the executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau. He says they’ll also need to get to know the new people in ag leadership positions as well.

Moore: We’ve been working with our state Farm Bureaus to put together information packets, so that we can come to a new Congressman or Congresswoman and say, “Here’s who we are and here’s some of our key issues that we’ll be working on.” David Scott from Georgia is going to be the chairman, someone that we’ve worked with a lot. G.T. Thompson, who’ll be the Ranking Republican on the House Agriculture Committee. As we look over to the Senate side, we have Senator Boozman coming in.

Smith: That’s Senator John Boozman of Arkansas who’ll succeed Pat Roberts as Senate Ag Committee Chairman. Moore says a couple of the biggest priorities the Farm Bureau will work on include trade and getting ready for the new farm bill.

Moore: Trade has been a front and center issue, whether we’re looking across the Pacific at China and the Pacific Rim Countries, Japan, South Korea, and so forth. And as we look across the Atlantic Ocean, we’re seeing that Great Britain and Europe have finally got their Brexit agreement put together. We look forward to hopefully making some progress with the European Union. The new farm bill is going to be an interesting one, given all that we’ve been through between the trade wars, certainly with the impact of COVID on farmers and ranchers, livestock producers across the country.

Smith: Ensuring farmers have a steady supply of guestworker labor will be another key priority in the new session.

Moore: The other area that is always a perennial issue, has been ever since I’ve come to Washington, D.C., and that is ensuring that farmers and ranchers have access to a ready, stable, legal workforce, and that’s going to be an ongoing challenge that we’re still trying to find answers to.

Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.

For more on AFBF's policy priorities, read the 117th Congress Briefing Booklet here

Share This Article

Credit: Dlz28 / CC0 

President-elect Joe Biden announced he will nominate Dr. Jewel Bronaugh to serve as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. The following statement may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall: “AFBF congratulates Dr. Jewel Bronaugh on her nomination to serve as USDA Deputy Secretary. Dr. Bronaugh’s work as Virginia’s Agriculture Commissioner and her previous experience as state director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency have established her as someone who understands the needs of America’s farmers and ranchers. We also appreciate the work she has done to address mental health issues in rural communities - a priority we hope she continues to pursue at the federal level. “Dr. Bronaugh’s nomination, as well as the nomination of Tom Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture, shows President-elect Biden is carefully considering the challenges facing our nation’s farmers and ranchers. We look forward to working with the new leadership at USDA to ensure American agriculture continues to lead the world in growing safe, affordable food.” Virginia Farm Bureau President Wayne F. Pryor also commented on Dr. Bronaugh’s nomination: “Virginia Farm Bureau is proud to see Dr. Bronaugh nominated as USDA Deputy Secretary. The Commonwealth has been fortunate to benefit from Dr. Bronaugh’s leadership as VDACS Commissioner, State FSA Executive Director, and her roles at Virginia State University. She has done much to promote agriculture and address the many issues facing farm families and rural Virginia. Dr. Bronaugh will carry on this work in her new leadership role in Washington, D.C., and we support her swift confirmation”

Full Article
Credit: Photo by Jomar Thomas on Unsplash 

Farm Bureau delegates voted on policy priorities for 2021 at the conclusion of the American Farm Bureau Federation Virtual Annual Convention. Micheal Clements shares what issues top the list for the new year.

Full Article