National Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman yesterday highlighted the ways in which the farm bill impacts U.S. corn growers as he addressed the 28th Annual International Sweetener Symposium in Stowe, Vt.
The program focused on overall farm policy while allowing attendees to explore related topics such as the U.S. and world supply and demand outlook and the effect of trade agreements on world sugar policies and U.S. commodity programs. Promoting an understanding of farm issues in the sweetener industry, Tolman covered several farm issues and recognized the importance of the sweetener industry and all of American agriculture working together.
“At NCGA, we recognize the importance of keeping stakeholders in all of our valued markets informed on the issues affecting our growers,” said Tolman. “We hope to work hand-in-hand with our sweetener industry partners to ensure that our farmers needs are recognized as key legislative or regulatory issues continue to arise.”
To provide perspective to the role of agriculture in the greater overall budget debate, Tolman led off by explaining how, in the last five years, spending on agricultural programs has accounted for less than half a percent of the overall federal budget. This fact is especially essential to any background understanding of agriculture’s role in budget negotiations, considering spending in this area has remained stable over the past two decades while total federal spending has tripled.
Tolman went on to define the importance of specific programs with the greatest impact on corn farmers represented by NCGA. Detailing the benefits programs such as ACRE (Average Crop Revenue Election program) offer farmers, Tolman also looked at the essential function of programs such as crop insurance in ensuring a stable and sufficient supply to meet all needs for farm products.
During the symposium, panels of renowned experts and key policymakers shared insight into the most significant issues facing members at all points in the sweetener value chain. With more than 400 attendees historically, this event also provides a vital forum in which the broad array of participants can share knowledge and network thus deepening their understanding of big picture issues and their various implications across the industry.