NGFA members conclude annual fly-in Sarah Gonzalez June 7, 2024

NGFA members conclude annual fly-in

One hundred NGFA members spent several days in Washington, D.C., this week to conduct committee meetings and visit more than 100 lawmakers and congressional offices on Capitol Hill about NGFA priorities.

Photos: View the 2024 fly-in photo album.

Members of NGFA’s Executive; Business, Merchandising and Operations; Ag Policy and Legislative Affairs; and Trade and Crop Technology Committees joined the 2024-25 class of the Committee Apprentice Program for lobbying visits on June 5. In addition to meetings with lawmakers and their committees, NGFA CAPs visited with federal agencies and government officials, including the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Surface Transportation Board and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The CAPs concluded their annual “DC Experience” with a visit to the Embassy of Japan.

NGFA members focused on the following topics with lawmakers:

  • NASS County Crop Estimates: USDA should reinstate county crop reports recently discontinued by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). For the next fiscal year, Congress should pass language to deliver the appropriate funding to NASS and ensure these reports are not cut again. [Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and House Agriculture Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Subcommittee Chairman Tracey Mann, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Jim Costa, D-Calif., led a May 3 letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him to reinstate the reports. NGFA worked with other agricultural groups to gain signatures on the letter from 70 lawmakers.]
  • Farm Bill: Congress should increase investments in working lands conservation programs and agricultural export promotion programs in the next farm bill.
  • I FEED Act: The bipartisan Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development (Innovative FEED) Act (H.R.6687 and S. 1842) would establish a new category of non-nutritive animal food additives that provide production, health and environmental benefits.
  • Lower Snake River Dams: NGFA opposes any actions by federal or state governments that could result in breaching the Lower Snake River dams.
  • Rail: The Reliable Rail Service Act (S.2071) would better define Class I rail carriers’ common carrier obligation. NGFA also supports the Keeping International Land Ports of Entry Open Act (S.3796) to prevent shutdowns of rail crossings between the U.S. and Mexico.
  • Trade: Prematurely stripping China of its PNTR status could result in retaliation against U.S. agricultural goods. Agricultural export volumes for 2024 are predicted to decline for several major commodities and flip to a $30.5 billion deficit in 2024.
  • Water Resources Development Act: NGFA supports the “Thomas R. Carper Water Resource Development Act of 2024” (S.4367) passed out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.