State Farm Bureau meetings have concluded, and state Farm Bureau presidents met in Washington last week to discuss issues that came up in those state meetings. President of North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, Larry Wooten was in DC with the other Farm Bureau presidents, and says there was one consistent theme:
“Obviously our policy position was really pretty sound on farm bills from last year but we are trying to urge congress to just get it done. That is the biggest issue, getting it done. People need to make plans and we have waited long enough. We need to get it done.
There was a bit of a shakeup on the House Ag Committee last week with the dismissal of Tim Heulskamp from Kansas. Wooten feels that as long as the upper tier stays in place, the farm bill can move forward:
“Leadership is still there. Chairman Lucas is a strong leader and he has it in his head which way we need to go. He has the backing of the majority, even losing a few members Representative Elbers is going to step off the AG committee to go to other committees from our state. The dye is pretty well cast on the bill we just to get action on it and get past this fiscal cliff and get things going in Washington.
Of course, all the talk in Washington right now is on the so called ‘fiscal cliff’. Wooten says that situation probably has to see some resolution before the farm bill can be addressed:
This whole financial mess, fiscal cliff, whatever you want to call it, that we are dealing with, we met with some members of Congress and there are only two people who know what is going on, Speaker of the House and the President of the US. Those are the only two people who are going to cut a deal to get us past the log jam that we are in right now. Both sides have good points, but I agree with the speaker of the house, that the president cwont be able to bypass congress to raise the debt ceiling. I think that is just fundamentally wrong we shouldn’t do that and I don’t blame the speaker for standing firm on that. I believe there will have to be some give in additional revenue, hopefully in the next week we will see some break on that.
The national meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation is January 13 through the 16th in Nashville.
Larry Wooten, President of North Carolina’s Farm Bureau Federation.