Two of the main legislative topics throughout the trip were trade, specifically the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and prep for the farm bill, which will come to the legislative forefront as it is worked on and written through most of 2017, with a vote in 2018.
The large contingent of 55, along with seven OFBF state board and staff members, landed in Washington D.C. and reported straight to the American Farm Bureau Federation for briefings on current policy issues, including the farm bill, food safety and trade.
AFBF President Zippy Duvall, who paid a visit to Ohio in August, made a surprise appearance with the Ohioans after the briefings, lifting up team members as they prepared to meet with their legislators the following day.
After Duvall’s visit the group broke into teams to prepare for those meetings with representatives the next afternoon. AgriPOWER and YAP members were assigned to meet with 15 legislators and/or staff from Ohio House districts throughout the three days. .
Attendees visited the French Embassy to hear about agriculture in France and the European Union’s impacts on agriculture and trade in the United States. After meeting with Congressional legislators, the whole group reconvened in the late afternoon for a Senate Ag Committee briefing with Senate staff.
The team was briefed at the U.S. Department of Agriculture on beginning farmer and land tenure programs, as well as foreign ag service and trade.
Both the AgriPOWER team and the Young Ag Professionals group were encouraged to follow up with the representatives when they returned to their home counties.