Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

March 29, 2013

Farm Bureau members meet officials in Washington


Daily Iowegian

WEST DES MOINES — Fifty Iowa Farm Bureau leaders visited Capitol Hill and their elected officials during the annual national policy trip March 18-21 to discuss key farm issues, including continuing work on a long-term Farm Bill with strong crop insurance provisions.  

“We relied on crop insurance last year.  It allowed me to farm again this year,” Seth McCaulley, Calhoun County Farm Bureau member, told Iowa Sen. Tom Harken last week in Washington D.C.  “We ask that you keep crop insurance healthy and strengthen it.”

Iowa Farm Bureau members met with each member of Iowa’s Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. to discuss the need for the farm bill while also discussing other pressing farm issues including trade, improving U.S. river infrastructure, comprehensive immigration reform and burdensome health care tax provisions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  

Those participating in the trip included Lyle Blom of Oskaloosa, Andy Hora of Riverside, Ashley and Jonathan Hart of Centerville and Cal Rozenboom of Oskaloosa.  The Harts are District 8 young farmer advisory committee members. Jonathan is on the Appanoose County Farm Bureau board of directors. Rozenboom is the District 8 representative on the IFBF board of directors. District 8 includes Appanoose County.

“Iowa farmers brought very real concerns to their lawmakers in Washington, and they asked for commitment to support important matters back home at the farm,” said Trudy Wastweet, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation national policy advisor.  “Our local Farm Bureau members proved their knowledge of diverse policy issues and engaged Iowa’s congressmen and senators in conversations regarding strong and effective crop insurance, tax relief, and investment in our country’s waterway system.”

The Iowa delegation met with Congressmen Dave Loebsack, Tom Latham, Bruce Braley and Steve King and also with Senators Charles Grassley and Tom Harkin.  In addition, they met with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and received updates on the U.S. trade agenda and crop insurance program from officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  

The Iowa Farm Bureau national policy trip is an annual spring event for select county leaders.  Each year, one-half of Iowa’s 100 county Farm Bureaus have the opportunity to send a representative to speak on behalf of agriculture and rural Iowa.  To learn more about the national policy trip and other opportunities for Iowa Farm Bureau members, go to www.iowafarmbureau.com.