USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach attends 27th Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture…
(BARN Media / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) March 2, 2018 – USDA Undersecretary Gregory Ibach spoke at the 27th Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture. A longtime voice in Nebraska’s agriculture industry, Ibach’s service to the industry has been honored and recognized. Ibach said as Nebraska Secretary of Agriculture, he made decisions based upon his background as a producer. When approached about the USDA position, he took the same approach…
The Governor’s Agriculture Forum is managed by members of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program, or CALP Class 13. CALP fellows are agricultural professionals from across Colorado, bringing a mix of diverse perspectives on agriculture – from extension agents to viticulturists, and from feedlot managers to policy analysts. Through the CALP program, these emerging leaders are being immersed in professional training and experiencing agricultural production across the state first-hand. Want to learn more, visit Coloagleaders.org.
This BARN Media Ag News story was in cooperation with Rachel Spencer Gabel , read her article below…
Written by Rachel Spencer Gabel
USDA Undersecretary Gregory Ibach spoke at the 27th Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture. A longtime voice in Nebraska’s agriculture industry, Ibach’s service to the industry has been honored and recognized.
Ibach said as Nebraska Secretary of Agriculture, he made decisions based upon his background as a producer. When approached about the USDA position, he took the same approach.
“I decided that I could do that as long as I was able to wear my farmer hat and take my cowboy boots with me to Washington D.C. and I soon found out that Secretary Purdue wasn’t interested in me coming if I didn’t bring my farmer hat and my cowboy boots,” he said.
Ibach pledged to the crowd of agriculture producers that he will continue to make decisions keeping in mind how those decisions affect producers around the country. Undersecretary Ibach made mention of the goals of Sec. Purdue as well.
“His number one goal that he set was that he wanted USDA to be the most efficient, effective and customer-focused agency in all of federal government,” he said.
Purdue, Ibach said, who has already visited 33 states in his tenure, is known for his focus on customer service and listening to those producers served by the agency. Among the other focuses, regulatory reform has been a goal with 22 regulations having been repealed for every regulation put into place during Purdue’s tenure. This achieves President Trump’s directive of repealing two regulations for every new regulation enacted.
“This year alone in USDA, we’re looking at repealing 28 different regulations that affect farmers and ranchers to try to free up to spend time doing what you need to do to be able to farm your farm and concentrate on figuring out how to make the margins work in this tough marketplace without having to figure out how to fill out paperwork for USDA,” he said.
The next Farm Bill also remains a focus of Secretary Purdue and the Undersecretaries of the USDA. The key principals that Ibach is focusing upon include the enhancement of the relationships between the USDA and the individual states with the goals of eradicating pests in crops, improving the protection and prevention against certain animal diseases that can negatively affect the animal agriculture industries, and supporting specialty crop industries.
“Finally, we want to continue to foster opportunities for all producers but also look for opportunities for young and beginning farmers and being able to help them with entrance into the agricultural industry if they want to come to agriculture,” he said.
Ibach indicated the focus not only on opportunities within production agriculture but also those who meet the needs of those in production agriculture daily such as crop consultants, feed producers, innovators of new technology, and others who make up the best and the brightest in rural America. Ibach also hopes to inform urban students of the many opportunities in agriculture for rewarding careers.
The USDA is proposing a Harvest Basket that would divert a portion of SNAP payments and rather than giving a cash voucher to recipients, they would receive half the value in the form of American grown, non-perishable items in a food basket. Ibach admitted the contents may need to be accompanied with preparation instructions but include the staples grown on many American farms and ranches that would help recipients move toward a balanced diet.
“The USDA projects that over the next ten years, that would save $213 billion and that includes the extra administration costs for being able to procure those items, and put them in boxes, and distribute them,” he said.
Ibach reiterated the USDA’s commitment to serving the farmers and ranchers who depend upon them and their commitment to being good partners.