Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04), member of the House Agriculture Committee, yesterday met with leaders from Iowa agriculture groups for a roundtable in Lake City to discuss priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill. The roundtable discussion was held as part of Grassley’s annual 99 county meetings across Iowa.
“I appreciate the opportunity to speak directly with Iowa’s farmers and producers about issues that matter to them as we look ahead to another Farm Bill. Hearing from the grassroots steers my policymaking decisions in Washington. As a family farmer and a strong advocate for agriculture, I know the work Iowa’s farmers and producers do every day. Their hard work and passion to feed and fuel our country and world deserves to have a seat at the table, and I will bring their input to the upcoming Farm Bill discussions,” Grassley said.
“The Farm Bill is one of the most consequential pieces of legislation for our family farmers, independent producers, and rural Iowa. That’s why it is important for me to hear from various agricultural groups who represent Iowa’s hardworking farmers and producers at the local, state, and federal level. As the second largest ag-producing district in the nation, I will be a strong advocate for priorities critical to the success of our agricultural communities and rural main streets in the 2023 Farm Bill,” Feenstra said.
“It is so important to be able to talk to Senator Grassley and have that grassroots advocacy so he can truly represent us when he goes back to Washington, D.C. It is really important to talk about what goes on at the local level as sometime those issues can get lost in the weeds. We really appreciate all he does to support us as farmers and for the opportunity to have him here to talk about both local, small businesses and the needs we have on the farm,” Mary Lauver, family farmer in Lake City, said.
“I want to express my appreciation to Senator Grassley and Congressman Feenstra for the input session today. We all know the three legs of the agricultural stool are biofuels, livestock and exports. Our investment in market development and foreign market access programs has not increased in 20 years, so we essentially have that as available money to use. This roundtable was a good opportunity to discuss those options as we look forward to the next Farm Bill,” Al Giese, Vice President, Board of Directors of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, said.
“One of the reasons why roundtables like this are so important is because it gives us a chance to meet face-to-face with Senator Grassley and Congressman Feenstra. Hearing straight from producers, like Mark Schleisman talking about foreign animal disease in the Farm Bill as well as more funding for market development overseas, amplifies these face-to-face interactions,” Ben Nuelle, Director of Public Policy, Iowa Pork Producers Association, said.
“We are pleased to meet with Senator Grassley and Congressman Feenstra to discuss the Farm Bill. Risk mitigation and profitability are two important priorites for Iowa cattlemen and we feel that some of those opportunities come through the Farm Bill. Looking ahead, we’d like to see some changes made in regard to working lands conservation programs to provide more flexibility and opportunity for producers to have livestock on the land. That being said, we will continue to monitor support for the vaccine bank recognizing that protecting from foreign animal disease is a top priority for our members,” Cora Fox, Director of Government Relations, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, said.
Leaders from the following Iowa agriculture groups attended: the Iowa Corn Growers Association, the Iowa Soybean Association, the Iowa Dairy Association, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the Iowa Farm Bureau, the Iowa Turkey Federation, the Iowa Cattlemen Association, the Iowa Pork Producers Association and the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.
Grassley will play a key role in the 2023 Farm Bill as he is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. As one of only two grain farmers in the Senate, Grassley speaks up for his fellow Iowa farmers.
This is Grassley’s 42nd year of holding meetings in every one of Iowa’s 99 counties. Grassley has held at least one meeting in every county, every year since he was first elected to serve in the U.S. Senate. He takes questions on any subject. Iowans set the agenda.