He added, "This is more than a farm bill or a food bill. It's a jobs bill, an energy bill, a rural development bill. It's not just about farmers. Both the food and farm portions of the legislation are needed to create an economic effect that moves all the way up the chain, beginning in rural America."
In addition to the farm bill, impacts of the wild weather, marketing issues and commodity price swings were also topics of discussion at the Iowa Farm Bureau event. Nearly 300 Iowa farmers and agribusiness industry leaders came to Scheman Auditorium on the campus of Iowa State University at Ames July 22-23 to listen to perspectives from national experts on ag policy, commodity marketing, land use trends and climate change.
Many other topics were covered at the summit, including commodity and environmental issues
Many panelists at the event agreed that the U.S. agricultural sector can expect changes in the months to come and only good planning will protect the sustainability of farmers. "The consistent message was that farmers and everyone involved in agriculture need to make long-term plans, and make sure you're grounded in reality," says Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services. "The reality is there are no guarantees what our yields will be until we're in the fields for harvest."
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Plan was also on the docket, leading to lively discussion. One of the presenters, Dean Lemke, a natural resources engineer for the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, said media reports critical of the nutrient strategy's voluntary implementation have been premature. "Thirteen of 22 nonpoint source action items are underway now through the state of Iowa's Water Resources Coordinating Council and various agencies to begin implementation efforts to support the Nutrient Strategy's recommended conservation practices."