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Agrimarketing : November December 2007
News and information for members and friends of NAMA Photos: Left: Congressman Bob Etheridge; Dan Looker Successful Farming; Paul Redhage, FMC. Right: North Carolina State University Students pose with Congressman Bob Etheridge (second from left). Chapter Events The Eastern, Chesapeake and Carolinas/ Virginia NAMA chapters hosted a Tri-NAMA Chapter Agricultural Legislative Update meeting on Monday, October 1, at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, DC. Nearly 40 attendees from these chapters received the latest update on the new U.S. Farm Bill and Ag Policy Issues from top legislative, administration and industry officials. Dan Looker, Successful Farming, was the kick-off speaker for the event. Looker discussed farmer perspectives on the farm bill and the impact of current ag legislation. Looker stated that in today's farm bill marketing loans are given to encourage farmers to sell. Next on the agenda was Dale Moore, Chief of Staff for the USDA, who discussed the direction of ag policy at the USDA. Moore said that some priorities for the administration are Food Safety and Trade Barriers. According to Moore, proposed changes to the new Farm Bill include allowing specialty crops in the participation of the farm bill; a proposed tax increase; including money for Bioenergy and conservation in the farm bill. Following Moore's presentation, U.S. Congressman Bob Etheridge continued discussing the farm bill and stated that the new farm bill doesn't have the budget surplus as in the last bill. Etheridge was asked about his thoughts on homeland security and agriculture safety and inspections. "We're probably going to see an increase in inspections," says Etheridge, "because the consumers are going to require it." He continued, "If we don't, we lose what I like to call the 'Gold Seal' stamp by the USDA." The last speaker of the day was Robbie Minnich, Senior Government Relations Representative for the National Cotton Council. Minnich discussed how the new farm bill will affect commodity programs and issues that the Cotton Council will face when the new farm bill is implemented. Special thanks to those North Carolina State University students who were able to attend the event. These sponsors were key in providing transportation for attendees to Washington, D.C. Thanks to Quarry Integrated Communications, R.F. Timberlake & Company, Inc., Southern States and Gibbs & Soell. THREE CHAPTERS PRESENT LEGISLATIVE UPDATE November/December 2007 AgriMarketing 19
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