Associations Push Ag Concerns
Now that Barack Obama has made history as the first black president-elect, affirming ‘change has come,’ what’s in store for American agriculture? Association leaders are focused on ensuring our industry remains top-of-mind for the incoming president.
For example, CropLife America laid its groundwork at the national conventions of both major political parties.
"This fall’s general election campaign is historic in so many ways, and no more so than for American agriculture and its constituent parts," says Jay Vroom, CropLife America president and CEO. "For U.S. ag, a key strength has always been having key leaders in both major political parties coming together to advance solid policy solutions for farmers and their ag business partners. Certainly we were able to reinforce that perspective for the interests of pesticide manufacturers and distributors and our farm customers at the conventions and look forward to continuing that discussion with the next administration.”
At the conventions, CropLife America and RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) communicated key industry issues. They worked closely with allies to organize events at each convention to highlight the critical role which state agriculture departments play in the careful regulation of pesticides and the overall promotion of U.S. agriculture. Featured issues included worker protection, outreach to crop protection product users to be reminded to read and follow label directions, Endangered Species Act procedural problems for agriculture, and soil and water conservation.
The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) also was involved in the political process. The ARA Political Action Committee (ARAPAC) provided financial support to both Democrat and Republican members of Congress that support key policy issues on behalf of the ag retail industry.
ARA encouraged its members to get politically involved on their own time “as this election could have a significant and long-term impact on the direction the federal government takes regarding economic and regulatory policies for years to come,” according to the association’s newsletter, ARA Retailer Fact$.