Soy Growers Talk Farm Bill, Crop Insurance and More with U.S. Ag Secretary Perdue

ASA Director Rob Shaffer (right) speaks with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue during his stop in Illinois.

Soy growers had the opportunity to discuss important issues with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue this week.

Both past and present American Soybean Association (ASA) members met with Perdue during his five state “Back to Our Roots” RV tour, which included stops in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

ASA Director Brad Kremer (right) talks to U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue (left) about about getting more young people and veterans involved in farming.

During his first stop in Wisconsin, ASA Director Brad Kremer and former board member Kevin Hoyer participated in a round table discussion with the secretary, where they talked trade, the farm bill and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“I talked to him about how important the farm bill is to my generation of farmers and the generation coming up behind me,” Kremer said. “We don’t need to lose that generation of farmers.”

Perdue asked Kremer to follow up with his office so they could discuss more ways to get young people and veterans interested farming. During their visit, Kremer also expressed concerns about potential tariffs from China.

During his meeting with Perdue, Hoyer presented soy grower positions on rural development and infrastructure and market access and foreign trade support.

ASA Director Rob Shaffer spoke with the Secretary during his stop in Illinois.

“We talked about crop protection, regulations and the red-tape farmers have to cut through and how USDA can help improve these processes, while still keeping the environment and workers safe,” Shaffer said.

Shaffer also expressed to Perdue the importance of the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) funding, the farm bill and crop insurance as a safety net.

The soybean farmers said their time with Perdue was productive and overall positive.

“He’s a farmer and he understands ag,” Shaffer said of Perdue.

Kremer agreed. “We’ve got a guy who’s a real farmer advocating in D.C.,” he said.

Several other soy growers had the chance to speak with Perdue this past week. ASA Treasurer Bill Gordon and Director George Goblish met Perdue on his stop in Minnesota. ASA Director Kendell Culp saw him in Indiana and ASA Chairman Richard Wilkins spoke with him at the Delaware State Fair.

Click here to see more photos of ASA directors meeting with Perdue.