In the post-election lame duck session and beyond, Steve Censky, CEO of American Soybean Association explains to Director of Southern Farm Network Rhonda Garrison that time is of the essence when addressing some real problems in Washington not only for agriculture, but for all Americans:
“That has been our message. Before the election we wanted to get one done, but that didn’t happen. We are really pushing congress to get it done in the lame duck session just to provide certainly to farmers. Farmers want to know what are the rules, what is the farm program going to look like and we need to go ahead and get it done.
As we know the budget situation isn’t getting better with time but we think that agriculture can be part of the solution. On Capitol Hill they are talking about wanting to get some sort of down payment on the deficit, controlling that in the lame duck session and then having the bigger deal with taxes and entitlement reforms about 6-9 months down the road. With the Farm Bills that have been developed by the House and Senate Ag committees, we have about $23 billion dollars in savings, so we can be part of that down payment.
Also, opening up trade barriers will open up many jobs to Americans. One of the real bright spots for the American economy has been trade and agricultural exports. Soybeans and soybean products are our nation’s largest agriculture export, over $26 billion last year. We need to make sure we are continuing to work on increased market access and fighting trade barriers.
One of those is in the EU, but because of their bio tech policies and slow approval processes, their renewable energy standard, which is discriminating against soybeans, we have seen our exports decline to the EU.”
CEO of the American Soybean Association Steve Censky, and Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison from the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Annual Convention in Kansas City.