Clements: AFBF expects agricultural policy discussions to begin early on during the upcoming legislative session. AFBF public policy executive director Dale Moore says AFBF will begin farm bill discussions at their Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show in preparation for the next Congress.

Moore: Chairman Mike Conaway with the House Agriculture Committee and Chairman Pat Roberts with the Senate Agriculture Committee have been talking about their plans to get the process started, if not by early to mid-winter, certainly by the time we get to spring, we’re going to start those discussions, the hearings, the conversations. But, the key thing we know is when we get to convention we’re going to have a very in-depth discussion about those policies and American Farm Bureau is going to be ready to hit the ground running when we get those signals from our House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders that it’s time to start that discussion.

Clements: Moore says immigration reform continues to be a top priority for agriculture. He says AFBF will advocate for immigration reform that supplies agriculture with a legal, stable workforce.

Moore: When we get to the point where we can have these conversations on the Hill, we need to make sure that the members of Congress, and certainly the incoming administration, understands that without a legal, stable supply of labor, U.S. farmers are challenged by worker shortages that leads to lost crops, leads to lost income, leads to lost jobs, and it makes it more difficult for us to compete with imports.

Clements: Finally, Moore says tackling tax reform is also a key priority in helping America’s farm and ranch businesses.

Moore: We’re going to be working in conjunction with a lot of other groups because we share a common interest in getting this tax bite that impacts the bottom line in these small businesses all across the country. We look forward to working with the leadership on the Hill. We hope that a comprehensive tax reform package is in the offing and we’re going to make sure that we’re ready to go after those.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.