Sara Wyant / Agri-Pulse Communications
As our summer travel season ramps up, we'll be driving or flying to at least 10 different states, including Alaska. One of my biggest concerns is the ability to stay connected — either by finding cellphone service or connecting to my home and office via high-speed broadband.
For the second year in a row, President Donald Trump showed up at the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual meeting to talk about how he much he cares for farmers and wants to improve their livelihoods over the longer term. "The great harvest is yet to come," he said in his second appearance to the American Farm Bureau Federation, this time on the group's 100th anniversary.
McDonald's announced recently that it aims to lessen the use of medically important antibiotics in the cattle supplying its beef. Hurrah for that press release, but farmers and ranchers have an important response for one of their premier vendors: It's already happening in a big way. Just ask the Food and Drug Administration.
After weeks of predicting that a new farm bill, might happen this year, we now have a final product that's ready to be rolled out next year. The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 was quickly passed by the U.S. Senate, 87-13, and the House of Representatives by a whopping 369-47 margin. Now comes the next phase — figuring out all that's included in the 540 pages of legislative text and figuring out how all 13 titles of the bill will be implemented.
Getting a nationwide group of notoriously independent and private people to voluntarily turn over information to the government can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. USDA made a major push to identify and track livestock in 2007, back when South Dakota native Bruce Knight was undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. The "primary emphasis is about supporting animal health," and supporting producers, Knight said at the time.
The American Soybean Association board tapped a familiar Washington, D.C., farm hand to lead their organization. The board announced Monday that, after an extensive search, Ryan Findlay has been selected to lead the organization. He fills a position previously held by Steve Censky, who left ASA last year after he was nominated to serve as deputy secretary of agriculture at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Most recently, Findlay worked as Syngenta’s industry relations lead for North America.
After working for the American Farm Bureau Federation for 31 years, Mary Kay Thatcher plans to retire from the organization at the end of the month. Thatcher, who currently serves as Senior Director of Congressional Relations at AFBF, is widely recognized as one of the most knowledgeable farm policy experts in the United States. She primarily lobbies on farm programs, crop insurance, conservation, and credit issues.