Show and Tell

This time of transition in Washington D.C. is very important for agriculture. I call it show and tell time.  Whenever there is a new administration (and a new Congress) the ag community goes into overdrive to get off on the right foot with those who will be setting policy and regulations.  This is especially true this year as the new power brokers have made it abundantly clear they will place an emphasis on climate policy.  The challenge for agriculture is to convince these new leaders that it is part of the solution and not part of the problem.  Fortunately agriculture has a good story to tell and can show how their voluntary efforts are making a positive difference.  Biofuels continue to reduce carbon emissions and both livestock and grain producers continue to reduce their carbon footprint.  While there is certainly room for improvement there are programs and plans already in place that are working.  The question, soon to be answered, is whether they are working well enough to satisfy the new power brokers.  Already we have seen a push towards electric vehicles by the Biden administration as it moves to change how the federal fleet is fueled.  Not many years ago there was a push to use biofuels in the federal fleet.  The biofuels industry is trying to make sure it is not left behind and its environmental benefits are not ignored. The Biden administration may do something those before it never could.  They may make the oil and biofuels industries allies instead of adversaries.  The push for future transportation technology should not come at the expense of current practices that are already established and working.  Grain and livestock producers wonder if they will face more regulations and restrictions that will make it harder for them to stay in business.  These are big challenges facing agriculture but with them will also come opportunities.  The Biden administration says it want input from the ag community on these issues and that is a good first step.  Agriculture is already making its case.  Stand by for the verdict.