With the pending government shutdown, I spoke to an Iowa agricultural leader who says we have problems we should be worrying about more than a political impasse between political parties.
Craig Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau president, has a list of issues that must be resolved for the benefit of Iowa agriculture. He also has hopes for the state legislature to finally pass water quality legislation.
Craig Hill, a farmer from Warren County and president of Iowa Farm Bureau, is concerned about many issues that are not getting resolved in Washington,D.C.
“I’ve got to be frank with you, on my list of worries, government shutdown is not one of them.”
He is more concerned about an unsuccessful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement that would be harmful to agriculture.
He went on from there: “Number two was the void created when we set aside the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Third is a foreign animal disease. Do we have the vaccines to mitigate that outbreak or the protocols and the preparedness that we need? Continued attacks by the oil industry on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). That leads me to what I think it really, really critical at this juncture and that is a lack of leadership and management at USDA because of the hold placed on Bill Northey.”
Hill also spoke of the need for an immigration policy that gives Iowa farmers and processors access to labor.
He expressed hope that the Iowa legislature will have a vote on Senate File 512 to fund the Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
“It was adopted in 2013 and yet we have not been able to add what we need to add structure to the initial legislation,” Hill said.
Hill also commented favorably on Governor Reynolds in her first year.
“I have been very pleased,” Hill said. “She has taken steps to assist agriculture, she’d done it on her own.”
Click here to listen to the full interview with Craig Hill.