Last week, Tom Nassif joined his Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA) co-chairs, John Keeling of the National Potato Council and Mike Stuart of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, for a series of meetings with House and Senate leadership in an effort to preserve and advance key specialty crop priorities in the upcoming Farm Bill.
The SCFBA leadership met with Chairman Rep. Mike Conaway (Texas) and Ranking Member Rep. Collin Peterson (Minnesota) of the House Committee on Agriculture and Chairman Pat Roberts (Kansas) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (Michigan) of the Senate Committee on Agriculture. The group also met with Rep. Rodney Davis (Illinois) and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (New Mexico), the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the House agriculture subcommittee overseeing fresh produce, as well as the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and Chuck Connor, President and CEO of the National Council of Farmers Cooperatives.
While the specialty crop priorities are still in the process of being formally adopted, during the meetings, the SCFBA co-chairs encouraged the federal government to continue its commitment to funding both short- and long-term research projects designed to address critical industry needs, such as food safety and citrus greening. Additionally, the Alliance leadership stressed the importance of fully funding Farm Bill programs that promote trade and enhance export opportunities, as well as pest and disease prevention programs.
Separate from the Farm Bill discussions, the SCFBA leadership took the opportunity to press the lawmakers on the need for Congress to tackle immigration reform.
The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance is a national coalition of more than 120 organizations representing growers of fruits, vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, nursery plants and other products. The alliance was established to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop agriculture and improve the health of Americans by broadening the scope of U.S. agricultural public policy.
For more information, contact Dennis Nuxoll at (202) 296-0191 ext:7303.
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