05-16-12 *Crop Life America News* Diverse Perspectives Converge to Discuss the 2012 Farm Bill in Washington, DC…
Posted by Brian Allmer on May 16, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC – CropLife America (CLA) is hosting its National Policy Conference, The Politics of Food and the 2012 Farm Bill: Are You Being Served?, today at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Now in its third year, the National Policy Conference brings together a varied group of academics, policy experts and leaders from Congress to discuss issues surrounding the 2012 Farm Bill. Panelists will debate topics such as the impact of social media on the public opinion of agriculture, advances in farming conservation during the past century, and the status of key programs in the current Farm Bill discussions. All conference sessions are available to view online live at www.croplifeamerica.org/National-Policy-Conference-2012.
“As the U.S. Congress is working hard to develop comprehensive legislation for the new Farm Bill, the conversations that take place today could not be more timely and necessary,” said Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA. “From farmers, to food bloggers, to conservation associations, it is clear there are many unique perspectives that have a stake in this important and sweeping piece of legislation.”
Dayton Duncan, writer and co-producer of the documentary “The Dust Bowl,” a film by Ken Burns, begins today’s conference with exclusive clips from the movie before it airs in November on PBS. The documentary chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in U.S. history, the dust storms of the early 20th century, which marked a watershed occurrence of agricultural producers and government working together. Duncan will discuss the film with Master of Ceremonies Marc Gunther, contributing editor of FORTUNE magazine, and answer questions from the audience.
John Chrosniak, chairman of the CLA Board of Directors and regional business director for North America at DuPont Crop Protection, noted that many lessons from the Dust Bowl are still relevant today. “We are all impacted by agriculture, in part because growers are producing much more than just food – they are meeting new market demands such as biofuels,” said Chrosniak. “Crops are being grown for advanced uses, and agriculture is the key driver in our new, bio-based economy. It goes well beyond biofuels, reaching to the production of innovative materials for a multitude of high-tech, industrial and consumer products. Success, however, will depend upon a renewed commitment to scientific research and development.”
While watching program sessions online at www.croplifeamerica.org/National-Policy-Conference-2012, viewers may also participate via Twitter (#NPC12). In addition to the discussion with Duncan, the conference will consist of four panel discussions (all times EDT):
Panel 1: Food Culture in the Digital Age, 10:15 a.m.
- Danielle Gould, Food+Tech Connect
- Tom Philpott, Mother Jones
- Hemi Weingarten, Fooducate.com
Panel 2: Costs & Consequence: Your Farm Program’s Been Cut… Now What?, 11:45 a.m.
- Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group
- Sara Hopper, Ag Policy Director, Environmental Defense Fund
- Molly Jahn, Former Dean, University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Professor, Laboratory of Genetics and Department of Agronomy at UW-Madison
- Katherine (Kitty) Smith, Chief Economist and Vice President for Programs, American Farmland Trust; Research Committee Member, AGree
Lunchtime Discussion: Fifty Years Later: The Regulatory Landscape Since “Silent Spring,” 1:30 p.m.
- Ronald Bailey, Science Correspondent, Reason magazine
- Allan Felsot, Professor and Extension Specialist, Entomology & Environmental Toxicology, Washington State University-TriCities
- Patrick J. Michaels, Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies, Cato Institute
- Paul Wenger, President, California Farm Bureau Federation
“Through A Political Lens” Discussion, 2:30 p.m.
- Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK), Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture
- Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE), Member, Senate Committee on Agriculture
- Jay Vroom, President and CEO, CropLife America
Established in 1933, CropLife America (www.croplifeamerica.org) represents the developers, manufacturers, formulators and distributors of plant science solutions for agriculture and pest management in the United States. CropLife America’s member companies produce, sell and distribute virtually all the crop protection and biotechnology products used by American farmers. CLA is also on Twitter and can be found at @CropLifeAmerica.