Smith: The American Farm Bureau has several key priorities in the new year. Executive Vice President Dale Moore says farmers and ranchers are looking forward to the eventual “Phase One” trade deal being signed this month. However, that’s not the only priority on their radar in the new year.
Moore: We’re anticipating that EPA and Administrator Wheeler and his team are soon going to put the final signature on the new Clean Water Rule that will get us out of this fight we’ve been in for years. We’ve certainly got to get U.S.-Mexico-Canadian Agreement finished up. We’re looking to the next phase of the discussions with Japan to expand on some of the gains we’ve made.
Smith: On the often-asked question of whether there will be another round of payments under the Market Facilitation Program, Moore says it’s hard to know for sure.
Moore: I would have to say that right now, I would not encourage folks to hold their breath. Our hope is that some of these changes that have been made on the tariff war with China will calm down a bit and we’ll see that marketplace return and see more imports of U.S. goods by China that will help push those prices up.
Smith: Sustainability will be a big topic of discussion when it comes to agriculture in 2020. Moore says sustainability is a subject that American Farm Bureau will be talking about a lot in the new year.
Moore: They certainly want us to be engaged, making sure that we are part of the discussion, look for ways that give them the opportunity to be partners in this process. Sustainability means that I’m making progress not only on the conservation front, on the environmental front, but also keep my farm going for that next generation. That’s one of the things that’s very important.
Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.