Tuesday, February 24th started at the American Bankers Association with Nate Franzen, President of Agribusiness for First Dakota National Bank, giving a presentation on staying in touch with activities in Washington, D.C.
|Even and Pravecek|
Michael Torrey, originally of Kansas, now of Michael Torrey Associates of Washington, D.C., talked to the class about how his firm lobbies for and helps manage their clients. They focus on building relationships between clients and policy makers that produce substance on issues. They lobby legislative and executive branches of the government.
|Haugen, Youngblom, Osterman and others|
|Michael Holland thanked by Jim Kanable|
ABA Vice President of Congressional Relations Ed Elfmann focused on how the ABA deals with all legislators and ag committees in the federal government. They are dealing with record farm incomes, even though it has declined recently. FDIC insured that lenders have been diminished by nearly two-thirds in the last 28 years. Farmers have been restrained in their borrowing for capital investments. He also communicated that 84% of the farm bill is geared to fund nutrition. He commented on congressional issues facing ag lending in 2015.
Farmer Mac is a bridge between capital markets and ag producers, helping provide security and coverage on loans. They graciously sponsored the noon meal, and Larry Jones gave a presentation on how their process works. Ag producers get more options because their lender can spread risk out.
The day switched gears a little when Ryan Bennett, the director of government affairs for the National Milk Producers Federation, gave a presentation on what they do. They represent dairy cooperatives in all 50 states, and are ran by a board made up of mainly producers. In addition, they also help manage several other non-coop dairy institutions and other check-off funded organizations. Major policy interests range from dairy policy to trade to immigration.
|Reuvekamp adding insight in dairy topics|
In keeping with producer oriented speakers, Matt Mika with Tyson Foods, Inc, gave his talk as Director of Government affairs. Tyson is number 1 in chicken, number 1 in beef, and number 2 in pork, so they wield a big stick when it comes to ag policy. They are following issues like Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS), trade, and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HSS) dietary guidelines.
|Kristina Butts speaking; Schley making notes|
Submitted by Warren Symens