PIKE AND SCOTT FB LEADERS IN DC
March 10th 2012
At the beginning of March, leaders from the Pike and Scott County Farm Bureaus participated in a three-day study trip to Washington DC.
Endeavoring to build on the leadership skills of their Boards of Directors, the organizations conduct a biennial study trip to the nation’s capital.
Those participating included Wayne Brown, Winchester; Kim Curry, Griggsville; David Gay, New Canton; Rich Hoover, Pearl; Jeff Hurrelbrink, Winchester; Jim Koeller, New Canton; Adam Lawson, Chambersburg; Jeff Schone, Bluffs; Jeremy Thomas, Winchester; and Mark Vortman, Bluffs. Blake Roderick, Executive Director led the trip.
The main goals of the trip are education on many issues facing United States agriculture and those involved in the business of farming and to build an understanding of the complex nature of public policy and the many factors that influence that policy—both inside and outside of government.
Discussions with national and international industry and policy leaders will focus on three themes; Agriculture’s Place in a Changing World, the Media and Agriculture; and Challenges Facing Production Agriculture.
To achieve those ends, the group visited reporters with ThomsonReuters international news service and National Public Radio to gain an understanding of what goes into a news story or program and how best to work with the media.
The group also investigated the turmoil in U.S. politics created by the current recession and challenges facing policy makers and political activists through a visit with the Occupy DC group who took over McPherson Square park near the White House.
The leaders also discussed agro-terrorism with FBI special agents at the J. Edgar Hoover building on Pennsylvania Avenue.
In an environment of unresolved change, we looked at particular regulatory and budgetary challenges facing American agriculture. The leaders visited with the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Of direct concern to modern agriculture is time. The accuracy of time for GPS applications was discussed with officials at the U.S. Naval Observatory.
Trade is the backbone of our area’s agricultural and rural economy. The group met with officials at the British Embassy on the UK’s prosperity agenda and agricultural trade.
Another element of trade investigated was how farmers can get their crop to market using a crumbling, antiquated river transportation and flood control system. While visiting the National Waterways Conference, the group was joined by commissioners from the Sny Island Drainage District.
All the elements were brought together at the conclusion of trip with a timely visit with Congressman Aaron Schock in his Cannon House Office Building office. There the group met with Schock, two of his aides and Congressman Bobby Schilling’s agriculture specialist.