Ohio Farm Bureau is a grassroots membership organization with a mission of forging a partnership between farmers and consumers. The mission of our national organization, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), is to serve as a unified national voice of agriculture, working through grassroots organizations to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities. The AFBF office is located near the capitol in Washington D.C. because part of Farm Bureau’s role is influencing policy that impacts farmers and rural America.
The first day of the trip, we visited the Mexican Embassy. Mexico and the U.S. have an important relationship. Mexico is our second largest export market, behind Canada. The U.S is Mexico’s third highest import market. We are neighbors who depend on each other.
On the second day, American Farm Bureau staff members briefed us on federal policy issues that would impact agriculture. Policy farmers are interested in include the 2012 Farm Bill, preserving access to antibiotics for animal health, capital gains and estate tax legislation, regulatory reform, agriculture labor and trade to name a few.
|Michael Dwyer at the USDA offices in D.C.|
From the demand side:
- Global economic growth and the rise of the middle class in developing countries - this segment is expected to double to 1 billion households by 2020
- Value of the U.S. dollar – the dollar is trending down which is historically good for agriculture
- Worldwide biofuel production – U.S. is the world’s largest ethanol exporter
- Role of trade – demand for U.S. ag products in markets like China
- Policy errors by governments
- Energy and agriculture input prices
- Biotechnology developments
- Additional crop land – more land growing crops in countries like Brazil
|Speaker of the House, John Boehner, speaks to our group|
|Me on the balcony of the Ag Committee Room|
|Me, Nate Lamoreaux and Eric Cotton outside Rep. LaTourette's office|
|Our group with Congressman LaTourette (back row center) in his office|
During the trip, our group toured the capital building. Agriculture is an important part of this country which is evident by agricultural references throughout the capitol building.
|Ears of corn on one of the pillars in the Capitol|
For more stories about our trip, check out:
Ohio Farm Bureau Article: County Farm Bureau Presidents meet with Legislators on Capitol Hill
Farm and Dairy Newspaper Article: OFBF County Presidents trek to Capitol Hill and County Leaders tell Legislators Child Labor Proposal is Bad Idea for Farms
Ohio Country Journal Article: Death tax debate won’t die in D.C.