The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) finalized its list of public policy priorities on Feb. 7 during the Winter Board of Directors and Committee Meetings held in Washington, D.C.
ARA’s policy priorities center on the farm bill, rural infrastructure and transportation, Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) reauthorization, continued regulatory reform and a pro-growth economic agenda for rural America.
- Support a farm bill protecting crop insurance safety nets, which are vital for farmers.
- Support improving certification process for technical service providers, and include 4R nutrient management in Natural Resources Conservation Service stewardship program.
- Support the National Agricultural Statistics Service Conservation Effects Assessment Project.
- Maintain current acreage for conservation programs, and protect working lands.
RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORTATION
- Support funding for rural broadband and transportation infrastructure; lessen regulatory burdens.
- Support pilot program to lower the federal age to receive a commercial driver’s license to 18 years old for short-haul drivers moving farm supplies or agricultural commodities to increase the count of available drivers.
- Support electronic logging device exemption for all agricultural operations.
- Support short-term (four years to six years) reauthorization—December 2018 is the current expiration—that recognizes industry-led security measures such as ResponsibleAg and provides consistent and clear federal definitions for the terms ammonium nitrate and ammonium nitrate mixtures.
- Maintain notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements of the APA for any changes to chemicals of interest found in CFATS. Appendix A.
REGULATORY REFORM FOR AGRICULTURAL RETAILERS
- Support legislation that protects users from National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit’s duplicative requirements and legal liability.
- Support codification of the process safety management definition of “retail facilities” using the “50%” rule.
PRO-GROWTH ECONOMIC AGENDA
FOR RURAL AMERICA
- Support a fix to the tax reform package reinstating the domestic production activities deduction, also known as the Section 199 deduction.
- Support domestic energy production and fair-trade agreements, such as NAFTA.
- Support a new, usable guest worker visa program that works for all of American agriculture.
For more background on policy priorities and the ARA position, visit www.ARADC.org/priorities.