2017 County Presidents' Trip to Washington, D.C.

71st annual County Presidents’ Trip to Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, March 15:

The final day of the county presidents trip was full of interaction with multiple members of Congress, beginning with a keynote breakfast speech by Sen. Rob Portman at the Capital Hill Club. He spoke about health care, the opioid epidemic, crop prices and water quality.

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U.S. Speaker Paul Ryan talks to Ohio Farm Bureau members in Washington, D.C. during the 71st annual County Presidents’ Trip.

Congressman Bob Gibbs, former Ohio Farm Bureau president, once again brought together top congressional leaders to speak to our members during the Farm Forum. County presidents heard from Rep. Greg Walden, Rep. Brad Wenstrup and Rep. Larry Bucshon. The highlight of the Farm Forum was an address by Speaker Paul Ryan.

After several speakers touched on Farm Bureau priority issues – regulatory reform, tax reform and the drug epidemic – it was time for members to meet with their Ohio representatives. County presidents broke into groups and walked to Capital Hill to meet to discuss issues including the impending writing of the next farm bill, energy, water quality and commodity prices.

Tuesday, March 14:

Snowstorm Stella did not deter Farm Bureau members as the county presidents’ trip gamely charged ahead with a surprise visit from AFBF President Zippy Duvall. His inspiring talk was the highlight of a busy morning that saw an adjusted schedule.

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Zippy Duvall

Government offices and workers were on a delay during the morning due to several inches of snow falling overnight. Sen. Sherrod Brown made his scheduled appearance as breakfast keynote speaker and met afterwards with ag media attending the trip. Among other topics, he talked about working on trade issues with the new secretary of the USDA once he is confirmed (former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has been nominated). He also spoke of working with Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman on the opioid epidemic in Ohio.

Online extra: Coverage from Ohio’s Country Journal

Visits out to the embassies were cancelled due to the weather delay, so international trade specialist Francisco Sandoval from the Embassy of Mexico made a trip to meet with Ohio Farm Bureau at the hotel instead. He spoke about NAFTA and the history of trade between Mexico and the United States.

County presidents dined with more than 40 Iowa Farm Bureau members, also in D.C. to speak with their representatives. Keynote speaker was Randy Russell, president of The Russell Group, who gave an “Insider’s View” to working in politics in Washington D.C.

In the afternoon, members broke into groups and met with officials from several commodity groups – pork, beef, milk producers and corn – at their offices in the nation’s capital. Tomorrow, Farm Bureau members will enjoy breakfast with Portman, hear from Rep. Bob Gibbs then depart to congressional meetings before flying back to the Buckeye state.

See the visit with Rep. Mike Turner.

Monday, March 13:

County presidents, members of the ag media and Farm Bureau staff descended on Washington, D.C Monday morning with impending inclement weather on their minds as they prepared to meet with members of Congress to discuss priority issues. Today was a briefing day, with several prep and information sessions at American Farm Bureau Federation headquarters with AFBF and OFBF staff.

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OFBF Executive Vice President Adam Sharp welcomes county presidents to Washington at American Farm Bureau Federation headquarters on Monday.

The Ohio contingent was briefed on the importance of their grassroots efforts as it impacts policy on a national level. AFBF staff briefed the more than 100-member group on priority issues affecting agriculture including tax reform, regulatory reform, trade and the 2018 Farm Bill. Dr. Matt Roberts of the Kernmantle Group also offered some insight regarding agriculture’s economic outlook.

Tomorrow the group will attend breakfast with Sen. Sherrod Brown then participate in congressional planning sessions before leaving for scheduled visits to the Costa Rican and Mexican embassies. A joint luncheon with the Iowa Farm Bureau will include a keynote address by The Russell Group with an “Insider’s View” of the D.C. political landscape.

In the afternoon the county presidents, staff and OFB media guests are scheduled to visit various commodity groups: National Pork Producers Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Milk Producers Federation.

Posted earlier:

County Farm Bureau presidents are making their annual visit to the nation’s capital March 13-15 to learn about the issues facing agriculture, such as regulatory reform, tax reform, trade and the farm bill. They also will meet with national commodity groups and visit in-person with their legislators and their staff members. New this year, the group will take part in a joint luncheon with members from Indiana and Iowa Farm Bureaus.

Encouraging the county leaders, Ohio Farm Bureau President Frank Burkett said the trip comes at a time of transition in Washington. “This provides each of you with the opportunity to make your voice heard while ideas are being developed and input is being sought on how we should move forward with agricultural policy in our nation.”

In addition, members of the media and some Ohio Farm Bureau staff will be accompanying the presidents on the trip.

Updates from the trip will be shared here, or follow on social media using #ofbdc. See photos from the trip as shared on Facebook.