Ag promotion agency bill fails
With the General Session of the Wyoming Legislature coming to an end the first full week of April, a bill designed to promote Wyoming agriculture through investments and marketing failed the House on the third reading by only two votes.
Senate File 122, Wyoming agriculture authority, was prepared with the intent to diversify and expand the Wyoming economy and agriculture industry, as well as improve agriculture processing facilities and capabilities and assist producers and processors seeking grants.
Providing agriculture leverage
“The Wyoming Agriculture Authority would be modeled after the Wyoming Energy Authority, which is a combination of pipeline and infrastructure authorities,” said Sen. Brian Boner (R-Douglas), who co-sponsored the bill. “The idea is to leverage some municipal bonds and loans to help compete with the packing monopolies which have a stranglehold on the agriculture industry.”
Legislative findings within the bill stated, “Because of market conditions, both in Wyoming and across the nation, producers are facing challenges getting livestock to agricultural processing facilities in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner. Timey development of agricultural processing facilities will help increase revenue to the state.”
The findings also shared timely development of processing facilities would increase revenue to the state, and new infrastructure of agricultural processing would accelerate the development of the livestock industry in Wyoming.
“It is in the public interest of the citizens of this state to promote the economic welfare of the state and its residents by increasing employment, stimulating economic activity, augmenting sources of tax revenue, fostering economic stability, improving the balance of the state’s economy and enhancing the food supply chain to ensure adequate quantities of wholesome foods are available,” the bill continued.
Many agricultural organizations supported the bill.
Wyoming Stock Growers Association Executive Director Jim Magagna said, “We see tremendous potential in being able to move forward with something like this to help, certainly our industry, the beef industry, but all of the agriculture industries in Wyoming.”
Future of the authority
Boner shared, “The bill died unexpectedly in the House on third reading by two votes. I am deeply disappointed it failed, as there were some freshman legislators who were misleading in discussion on the floor and lied about the fact this bill would not be creating more government.”
He continued, “Unfortunately those folks had such a strong opinion about it, but have no idea how production agriculture works.”
Although the bill failed in this general session, Boner noted the implementation date of the bill was amended to 2023. With the potential for reintroduction next year, the 2023 effective date provides opportunity.
Information on Senate File 122 – Wyoming agriculture authority was sourced from wyoleg.gov.
Averi Hales is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.