Ag group leaders and members of congress hashed out differences at a farm bill summit in Washington, D.C. Monday. Agri-Pulse Communications hosted a day long farm bill summit focusing on goals in the upcoming farm bill debate.
Jonathan Coppess is Director of the Gardner Agriculture Policy Program at the University of Illinois.
He says it is important now than ever different commodity groups unite.
“We saw in the last farm bill some of that intra-ag coalitional dispute and that makes it challenging. If you are not interested in farm programs or policy and the farm guys are fighting each other, it raises a lot of questions.”
Coppess says another aspect that can offset the balance is the give and take among coalitions.
“If you have one group pushing to hard one way and another the opposite way, it can split apart the smaller coalition that so vital to getting the bill written and out to the floor. It is not just we all have to get along, but we all must get along to find a way no one is taking more from one or the other.”
He says the conversations farmers are having now a fascinating.
“What they are working through and how they are working through their budgets and their concerns and sort through what does it mean in Illinois but nationally? You see the commodity groups, farm bureau and major groups getting together to wrestle with this so when they come to the committee there is a more unified voice.”
Coppess broke down baseline and budget challenges at the summit.