The AFBF annual convention moves into its policy session today as delegates will finalize the organization’s position on key issues like a new Farm Bill, trade, and immigration and regulatory reform. Yet, the focus of most of the 5,000 members in Phoenix is on who will be the next Secretary of Agriculture.
AFBF President Zippy Duval admits he is frustrated and disappointed that a new Secretary of Agriculture has not been named yet. He told a press briefing that he remains confident President-elect Trump will make a good choice, “Perhaps he has had so many good candidates that he can’t decide on the right one. I am confident, however, that the President-elect will make the right choice.”
Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron does not think the delay in naming a new head of USDA is an indication that agriculture is not important to the Trump administration. He told HAT, “Whether it is a southern governor or someone from Indiana, I hope he takes the time and makes the right pick.”
Today, AFBF delegates begin the task of crafting recommendations for a new Farm Bill. Kron says it will be important to adopt a position that is fair to all farmers, “We need a safety net that is good for everybody. We can’t have winners and losers; we have to make sure we are working together.”
In addition to a safety net, trade is also a key issue that that will have an impact on Indiana agriculture. Duval said he believes that, despite the anti-trade rhetoric, the Trump White House will recognize the importance of trade to agriculture.