Can the U.S. still be No. 1 ag exporter without a farm bill?
“We’re in a global marketplace, and whatever advantages we have can disappear pretty quickly because other countries have extraordinary opportunities. If our Congress and House of Representatives can’t pass a farm bill, the message that sends to the rest of the world is we can be caught.”
That’s what Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday during an interview from Brazil, where Vilsack met with agricultural officials, according to the Des Moines Register.
Vilsack points that the United States has long had “the upper hand compared with other countries,” and though the country can quickly ship grain and other commodities by rail, road and water, this advantage could erode without “further investments domestically.”
If Congress fails to pass a five-year farm bill soon, Vilsack worries it will force ths UDSA to scale back efforts to promote the country’s agriculture abroad.
“We would be at a disadvantage because we wouldn’t be as aggressive in our promotion,” he warned.
Vilsack isn’t the only one pushing Congress to pass a farm bill. The Illinois Farm Bureau is pushing its members to tell their congressmen that they want a farm bill, and they want it now. Read more from The News-Gazette.