Answer the call to influence key issues
As the National Farmers Union’s Chandler Goule pointed out at the recent Farm Journal Forum, the farm bill passed seven times between the two chambers before it finally became law in February. It is clear—agriculture desperately needs the voices of farmers in Washington, D.C.
"We need farmers’ voices in D.C. to get things done," adds Mary Kay Thatcher, director of public policy for the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Farmers can’t just rely on organizations and commodity groups to represent them, she says. Sadly missing in the process were voices of individual farmers and ranchers.
Farmer voices need to be heard not only in legislation, but in the regulatory and legal processes, as well.
There were victories in 2013, but the challenges that are still ahead are daunting, to say the least:
- If the appeal of Gulf Restoration Network v. EPA is lost, EPA will likely begin to implement numeric nutrient limitations, which would mean strict controls on fertilizers and field runoff.
- GMO labeling laws and anti-GMO actions, such as those in Hawaii, will continue to bedevil production agriculture.
Your voice is the one that matters—not those of lobbyists or associations. Go to America’s Ag Challenge in the bonus content section for more detail on how you can speak up and speak out.