April 17, 2024

Greenfield farmer joins trip to Washington D.C.

Pictured from left, Brian Jones of Greenfield, Tyler Woodward of Hamburg, Heath Blomquist of Guthrie Center and Gabe Ferry of Kirkman on a recent trip with Iowa's lawmakers regarding policy relating to family farmers to Washington D.C.

Two dozen Iowa Farm Bureau members representing 18 counties met with Iowa’s congressional delegation last week in Washington, D.C. to discuss policy issues important to the sustainability of their family farms. Among them, pictured from left to right, include Brian Jones of Greenfield, Tyler Woodward of Hamburg, Heath Blomquist of Guthrie Center and Gabe Ferry of Kirkman.

The group of Iowa farmers met with Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst along with Reps. Ashley Hinson, Randy Feenstra, Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Zach Nunn. They also visited with representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Mexican Embassy and National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

The Farm Bureau members stressed the urgency of passing an updated farm bill and shared challenges related to the uncertainty of waiting another year for congressional action. Since the last farm bill was passed in 2018, farmers have faced volatile markets related to the COVID-19 pandemic, record-high inflation and costs to raise a crop as well as global unrest and volatile markets. The farmer delegation urged lawmakers to make critical updates to the farm safety net which are needed to help farmers manage risk of today’s prices and provide certainty for long-term planning.

Other important topics and issues raised by members included protecting interstate commerce, expanding biofuel markets and extending expiring tax provisions that are crucial for farmers. The farmers emphasized the importance of protecting interstate commerce to prevent individual states from regulating agricultural production in other parts of the country.

Members shared how regulations like California’s Prop 12 and Massachusetts’ Question 3 are already having negative impacts for farmers and consumers. The group said if similar arbitrary laws are passed by other states, it could affect virtually every product raised by farmers.

The group also sought support for biofuels markets and year-round E15 legislation to expand availability to other states. Members also shared the importance of opportunities for future generations and keeping family farms in the family as they urged support for a tax bill to extend key provisions that impact farm families transitioning to the next generation.