ICGA Hosts Informational Farm Bill Priorities Session

Today, members from across the state joined farmer leaders from Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA), to discuss priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill. Panelists included Mark Recker, former ICGA President serving on the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Risk Management and Transportation Action Team, Stu Swanson, ICGA District 2 Director and chair of the Animal Ag and the Environment Committee and Mark Mueller, ICGA District 3 Director and At-Large Director on the U.S. Grains Council.

“ICGA policy is established at the grassroots level and farmer member engagement is valued in ongoing policy development,” said Iowa Corn VP of Policy, Mindy Larsen Poldberg who attended the call. “By hosting conversations like the call today, crop fairs across the state and other local actives, we answer questions and gain insight into what farmers want to know most, allowing us to have clearer communication on our efforts both here in Iowa and in Washington, DC as we advocate for solid ag policy.”

Priorities Discussed:

  • Crop Insurance – Iowa corn farmers believe Congress should maintain premium offsets for harvest price coverage in crop insurance. Farm programs are written to provide a basic level of risk protection to help offset bad economic times and severe weather. At this time, we are advocating that congress should do no harm to crop insurance and avoid reductions or changes that will hurt its effectiveness. 
  • Conservation Programs  Iowa corn farmers believe the priority for conservation needs to be simpler programs that help farmers address challenges on working lands and better incorporate the farmer perspective, especially around risk management, which would make them more fair, equitable and workable programs.
  • MAP & FMD Funding – Iowa corn farmers support continued efforts to improve demand and develop market opportunities both domestically and internationally, including increasing funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) by $200 million and Foreign Market Development (FMD) by $35 million. This program has not been increased in over 20 years and is one of the most effective trade programs in the country.

“A strong farm bill doesn’t just support farmers, it supports a unified front on agriculture and its many products, including food,” said Mark Recker, a farmer from Arlington, Iowa. “Food and nutrition programs make up the bulk of Farm Bill programs. We see the linkage of these programs and our on-farm programs as a benefit and hope consumers do too, as we all benefit daily from a predictable and affordable agricultural value chain. Many of the more consumer-facing programs, such as SNAP, are also ag-related as it’s for food products such as corn-fed meats, dairy, eggs, poultry, cereals and more. The connection is important for both rural and urban to work together for the implementation of the Farm Bill. “

The Farm Bill is revised every five years with the current bill being up for reconsideration during this calendar year.

For More Information:

Rachel Zumbach, Public Relations Manager, rzumbach@iowacorn.org, 515-225-9242

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