NAWG Second Vice President Erik Younggren hosted on his farm this week House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who is also his Congressman, and Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator Bill Murphy.
The two officials were in Younggren’s hometown, Hallock, to talk with farmers and see how wheat and early sugar beet harvesting was progressing.
Younggren stopped harvest work to host a shop meeting, with about 40 area farmers and people from town in attendance.
Discussion topics were wide-ranging, including the farm bill process, crop insurance, Clean Water Act permitting and other environmental regulation issues.
Peterson repeated comments that he would like to mark-up the 2012 Farm Bill next May or June and have it to President Barack Obama by the winter.
He said he is exploring concepts that would take money out of the direct payment program and use it to increase the amount of crop insurance coverage producers can reasonably carry. He also reiterated plans to streamline ACRE and SURE to reduce redundancy in farm programs.
Murphy talked about coverage for falling number-related quality problems in wheat, saying protection would be written into crop insurance policies in the coming year. He also discussed ways the Agency is considering to use technology to streamline its data-collection processes.
“We recognize the importance of Washington politics to our on-farm experiences,” Younggren said about the meeting. “Stopping what you’re doing is worth your time, though it’s not easy to do.”
An ongoing Congressional recess presents a perfect opportunity for producers around the country to talk policy priorities with their Members in town hall meetings or on-farm visits.
This was Congress’ first full week in their home districts after being recalled last week to vote on a state aid funding measure.
Members typically flee D.C. in the hottest part of the year to campaign and visit with constituents back home. The Senate is expected to be out until Sept. 13, and the House scheduled to be out until Sept. 14.
For more about the meeting on his farm, visit Younggren’s blog at www.mywheatfarm.com.