Members of Michigan Farm Bureau’s (MFB) Farm Bill Task Force recently visited Washington D.C. to deliver the organization’s member-developed 2018 Farm Bill priorities to Congress. Joining later in the week were several farmers serving on American Farm Bureau Federation’s Issue Advisory Committees.
The impressive itinerary included meetings with Sen. Debbie Stabenow and stops at the offices of Reps. John Moolenaar, Paul Mitchell, Bill Huizenga, Mike Bishop and Jack Bergman. Rounding out the agenda were meetings with U.S. Department of Agriculture and House and Senate agriculture committee staff.
Participating members included:
Task Force co-chair Greg Shooks said the group’s advocacy efforts focused on support for the new dairy revenue protection insurance product; more effective and fairer farm safety net programs; specialty crop programs; and reinforcing the idea that nutrition and farm programs should remain unified under the farm bill. They also thanked the lawmakers for the beneficial dairy and crop insurance reforms within the recently-passed budget bill.
“I think our message was well-received in both the House and Senate,” Shooks said. “Both seemed to be excited and eager to get a farm bill passed, and there was a lot of discussion about wanting to have something ready for floor discussion within three weeks.”
Shooks also encouraged Farm Bureau members to continue sharing their personal farm stories when discussing the farm bill elected officials.
“Tell your story—because the issues you’re having at your farm are probably being experienced in other parts of the state and other parts of the country. Our elected officials and regulators need to hear that so they can help address those issues.”