WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Members of the American Soybean Association (ASA) will be on hand at the "Farm Bill Now!" rally on U.S. Capitol grounds Sept. 12 to encourage Congress to pass a new, comprehensive, five-year farm bill before current farm programs expire at the end of September.
"Our coalition represents a broad cross-section of agriculture and is extraordinarily varied in its policy priorities," said ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Nebraska, U.S. "ASA and its coalition partners may differ on many of the individual aspects in various titles of the farm bill, but more important than that is our commitment first and foremost to getting a bill done. We will work with farmers, with our partner organizations, and with our representatives in Washington to get this job finished in the interest of providing America’s farmers with the security and certainty they need."
The "Farm Bill Now!" rally, which will take place at Union Square in front of the Capitol Reflecting Pond, will feature members from the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives addressing the crowd, as well as leaders from a broad range of farm, conservation, energy, consumer and nutrition organizations.
Legislative members slated to speak at the rally include Sen. Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee; Sen. Jerry Moran; Rep. Collin Peterson, ranking member of the Committee on Agriculture; and Rep. Kristi Noem.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson and American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman will serve as a master of ceremonies for the event.
Organizational speakers in addition to Wellman, Johnson and Stallman will include Fred Yoder, representative of 25x’25; Daren Coppock, president and CEO of Agricultural Retailers Association; Ambassador Tony P. Hall, executive director of Alliance to End Hunger; Jon Scholl, president of American Farmland Trust; Gene Schmidt, president of National Association of Conservation Districts; Bing Von Bergen, first vice president of National Association of Wheat Growers; an elected county official representing National Association of Counties; Sally Greenberg, executive director of National Consumers League; Garry Niemeyer, president of National Corn Growers Association; Ken Nobis, president of Michigan Milk Producers Association; and Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy.
The event has been endorsed by more than 80 organizations representing a broad range of associations and coalitions representing commodity crops, livestock, dairy, specialty crops, state and local governments, minor crops, energy and biobased product groups, farm cooperatives and financial groups.