It’s almost like a tradition now. The Presidents of the farm organizations that participate in Commodity Classic take the stage for a few minutes of lighthearted discussion about their priorities. Emceeing the general session with them this year again was Mark Mayfield. You can listen to their interaction below. All of the organizations released a joint statement yesterday about their farm bill priorities which I’ve included below as well.
First up on the stage with Mark was Gary Niemeyer, a corn grower from Auburn, Ill and President of the National Corn Growers Association.
Listen to Gary’s comments here: Comments from Gary Niemeyer
Next up on stage was Steve Wellman, soybean farmer from Syracuse, Neb. and President of the American Soybean Association.
Listen to Steve’s comments here: Comments from Steve Wellman
Next we heard from Terry Swanson, a sorghum grower from Walsh, Colo. and President of the National Sorghum Producers.
Listen to Terry’s comments here: Comments from Terry Swanson
Finally, we heard from Wayne Hurst, a wheat producer from Burley, Idaho and President of the National Association of Wheat Growers.
Listen to Wayne’s comments here: Comments from Wayne Hurst
“Commodity Classic provides our organizations an opportunity to come together to discuss important policy issues facing our industry. As Congress continues work on the next farm bill, our organizations agree that an affordable crop insurance program is our No. 1 priority. We also stand ready to work with House and Senate Ag Committee leaders to create farm programs that provide risk-management tools to growers when they are facing a loss beyond their control.
“We urge Congress to pass a new farm bill this year to provide the level of certainty in America that a short-term extension cannot.The nation is currently facing record high federal deficits and this requires difficult decisions. We stand ready to do our part to develop more efficient farm policy that will be responsive to taxpayers and effective in helping farms remain viable and productive.
“Our organizations represent more than 70 percent of all crop acres in the United States. Agriculture is a bright spot in our nation’s economy, sustainably meeting the expanding demands to provide food, feed, fuel and fiber to the world. We are pleased to see the Senate and House Agriculture Committees have produced such an aggressive schedule and we thank them for their efforts.”