WASHINGTON, DC, US — Members of the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) took the milling industry’s farm bill reauthorization and supply chain concerns directly to congressional lawmakers during 56 meetings on Capitol Hill as part of the group’s 2023 Washington Policy Conference.
NAMA member companies operate mills in 32 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada, representing more than 90% of total industry production capacity. Representatives from 11 NAMA member companies participated in the meetings on May 23 with congressional offices, including key members of the House and Senate agriculture committees. The farm bill is currently due for reauthorization by Sept. 30, and conversations with lawmakers and their staffs focused on priorities for NAMA, including:
- “Putting the food back in food aid” by restoring farm bill authorized programs to their roots as pure in-kind commodity donation programs.
- Increasing the farm bill’s authorization for wheat and barley research from $15 million to $20 million to support the US Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative.
- Ensuring that farm bill conservation programs do not further skew planting decisions away from food grains such as wheat, oats, barley, and rye.
“NAMA’s Washington Policy Conference is an important opportunity for policymakers to hear firsthand from millers in their districts and states,” said Kim Cooper, senior director of government affairs at NAMA. “This outreach is absolutely crucial to advancing milling priorities like investing in grain research and improving US international food aid programs through the farm bill process."
Several supply chain-related bills supported by NAMA also were voted on in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on May 23. The committee advanced top NAMA priorities around trucking, including a pilot program for increased trucking weights and an increase in axle tolerance to allow for dry-bulk shift.
The policy conference concluded May 24 with a meeting of the NAMA Executive Committee, which included a briefing from the US Department of Agriculture on new programs and priorities.“NAMA’s fly-in is a chance for millers to connect the dots for our elected officials about how policies being debated on Capitol Hill impact our businesses and the entire milling supply chain,” said Brian Doyle, NAMA chair, King Milling. “Thank you to all NAMA members who took the time to travel to DC for this event. Your advocacy makes a difference.”