As tough conditions continue to plague the farm economy, Congress can help by breaking through partisan barriers on key issues like tax reform, trade and the farm bill, members of the Iowa Farm Bureau Ag Leaders Institute told lawmakers last week in Washington, D.C.

“I just ask you to commit to support these proposals,” Washington County Farm Bureau member Brandon Bishop said in a meeting with Rep. Dave Loebsack, who represents Iowa’s 2nd district in the U.S. House of Representatives. “These are real issues that really do affect us.”

The trip to the nation’s capital marked the culmination of a year-long training effort for the two dozen members of the Ag Leaders Institute, now in its 20th year. The program provides policy and leadership training for Farm Bureau members from across the state.

In Washington, the members met with all four of Iowa’s U.S. House members as well as Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst. They also met with U.S. agriculture department and trade officials and visited the Embassy of Mexico.

The Farm Bureau leaders urged lawmakers ...