February 26, 2024

Same time, next year? Ag officials predict trade, ag labor, regulation among hot topics in 2024

Mike Naig

DECATUR, Ill. — When farmers and ag industry representatives journey to the next Farm Progress Show, what are the hot topics going to be?

During a farm bill discussion panel, sponsored by Syngenta, at the 2023 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, a congresswoman and two state ag officials gave their predictions for what farmers and others will be discussing at the 2024 Farm Progress Show, slated for Aug. 27-29 in Boone, Iowa.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture: “Well, I won’t have to drive quite as far. Policy will have taken center stage by then. We will be in the full swing of a campaign season. You’ll see presidential candidates in Iowa next year, I believe. Policy, thinking strategically about some of these issues on trade, will be center stage. I would say that the dominant issue, I feel like it’s dominating us now, we are going to continue to focus on this, will be around the challenge of recruiting and maintaining people in agriculture, that is, in every phase of what we do. It’s not one thing. It’s many things, to ensure that you can live, work and play and thrive in rural communities and communities of all sizes across this great country. That certainly has to remain a focus for us. The other will be, will we have E15 by then? I don’t know. Market access, farm bill, international issues, those policy pieces will have taken center stage.”

Mary Miller

U.S. Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill.: “To get the farm bill passed and we’ve got to resolve our trade issue with Mexico. I want to see aggressive trade policies going forward because it has a long-term effect. We need to push back against the EPA that is over-regulating our producers and wanting to take away all the products that we need, pesticides and herbicides, and stand up to them.”

Chris Chinn

Chris Chinn, Missouri Department of Agriculture director: “I think trade and I think the regulation in our agriculture community. The regulatory environment we are in right now just continues to be more massive every single year. I think by next year, we are going to be seeing ‘waters of the U.S.’ The impact that these announcements are going to have, if you look at the Endangered Species Act, on our crop tools, our crop protection tools, it’s going to be even more difficult for us to be able to continue to use those tools in our toolbox. I think that is what we will be talking about and what can we do to make sure conversations don’t leave the farmer out. Sometimes, I think the farmer gets left behind in a lot of the conversations. As regulators in our states, it’s our job to make sure the farmer’s voice is heard while we are working with our federal partners in Washington, D.C.”

Jeannine Otto

Jeannine Otto

Field Editor