09-18-18 RMFU Members Make Their Case On Capitol Hill

RMFU President Dr. Dale McCall and Board Chair Jan Kochis (center)were among the members who met with U.S. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet (right) on Capitol Hill last week. Key discussion topics were the impact a trade and tariff war is having on producers, getting the Senate-House farm bill conference committee to act before the end of September, and the devastating severe weather events that have hurt farmers and ranchers in Colorado and New Mexico.

RMFU Members Make Their Case On Capitol Hill

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More than 40 Rocky Mountain Farmers Union members from Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming joined another 300 family farmers and ranchers from across the nation to meet face-to-face with top Trump administration officials and members of Congress as D.C. policymakers decide on a number of legislative and regulatory priorities.

The annual September legislative fly-in to DC comes at a critical time, says RMFU President Dr. Dale McCall. “Net farm income is down by nearly 50 percent over the past five years, leaving many farm families with little to no farm income and severe financial strain,” he says. 

Commodity prices have been dropping for the past few years, and this year took a sharper drop due to an escalating trade war with China and other top trading partners. The long-term risk is that we will lose important markets as our top buyers of U.S. ag products cultivate new crops elsewhere.

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Fly-In participants pushed for passage of a farm bill that supports family agriculture, strong protections from international trade market disruptions, and expansion of the American grown biofuel market.

The three-day event began with a briefing at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where NFU members heard from USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Gregory Ibach, USDA Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett, and U.S Trade Representative Chief Agriculture Negotiator Gregg Doud.

The event continued with Rocky Mountain Farmers Union members visiting all the offices of U.S. Senators and Representatives from Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso discusses tariffs with RMFU members Rod Morrison and Hanna Fancher.