ARLINGTON, Va., June 22, 2023 — National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) members gathered in Washington, D.C., this week for the NGFA’s annual fly-in to meet with nearly 100 members of Congress to discuss farm bill priorities, transportation issues, trade and other topics important to the grain, feed and processing industry.
NGFA state/regional affiliates also led several visits to congressional offices.
“Implementing responsible federal conservation programs in the next farm bill and prioritizing rail and trucking regulations that ensure an efficient transportation system for U.S. agricultural goods is extremely important to NGFA members,” said NGFA Chairman Greg Beck, chief administrative officer and senior vice president at CGB Enterprises, Inc. “The annual NGFA fly-in is an excellent opportunity for policymakers to hear firsthand accounts of the issues impacting the agricultural supply chain and to advance policies that support the people dedicated to transforming America’s harvest into food, fuel and fiber.”
In its meetings, NGFA members advocated for support of the CRP Reform Act of 2023, which would focus Conservation Reserve Program enrollments on marginal land and reduce competition for productive farmland between the government and farmers. NGFA members also urged lawmakers to pass a Surface Transportation Board (STB) reauthorization and several bills designed to improve agricultural trucking efficiency.
“NGFA’s fly-in included a diverse representation of our membership with the Association’s Executive Committee, Country Elevator Committee, and International Trade/Agricultural Policy Committee joining our new class of emerging leaders in the Committee Apprentice Program,” added Beck. “This is a great experience for anyone involved in the Association and we look forward to continuing to build advocacy opportunities for NGFA members.”
More NGFA fly-in topics are outlined below:
Farm Bill: Support the CRP Reform Act of 2023 sponsored by Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; and support bills introduced in the House and Senate to increase funding to USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMDP) — the Agriculture Export Promotion Act of 2023 (HR 648) and Expanding Agricultural Exports Act (S. 176).
Rail Service: Pass an STB reauthorization, which expired in 2020; support legislation that would better define rail carriers’ common carrier obligation; and insist that any rail safety legislation balances enhanced safety measures with efficient rail network service.
Trade with Mexico: If a resolution to Mexico’s ban on some biotech corn imports cannot be reached, the U.S. should take steps to enforce its rights under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Waterways: Maintain navigational access to the Lower Snake River Dams; and oversee investments to modernize locks and dams on the inland waterways.
Trucking: Support several NGFA-backed bills approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in May, including the Licensing Individual Commercial Exam-takers Now Safety and Efficiently (LICENSE) Act of 2023 (HR 3013) sponsored by Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ill.; 10% Axle Variance for Dry Bulk, sponsored by Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark.; Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE) Safe Integrity Act, sponsored by Rep. Crawford; and 91,000- lb. Weight Exemption Pilot Program, sponsored by Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D.
The NGFA, established in 1896, consists of grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate more than 8,000 facilities handling U.S. grains and oilseeds. Its membership includes grain elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; grain and oilseed processors and millers; exporters; livestock and poultry integrators; and associated firms that provide goods and services to the nation’s grain, feed and processing industry. The NGFA consists of 27 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, is co-located and has a strategic alliance with North American Export Grain Association, and a strategic alliance with Pet Food Institute.