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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Agriculture, Big As The World

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By Dennis Sun

When someone mentions agriculture, I usually just think of ag in our region. I admit I have blinders on. After thinking it over, I soon realized the agriculture I know is just part of the global industry affecting everyone – ag businesses, ranchers, farmers and consumers.

In 2023, the farm bill will be a big ag issue for America. It is always a huge issue for Congress to pass, especially the nutrition section, which is over two-thirds of the cost of past farm bills. 

It seems nutrition is the democratic party’s main focus, while Republicans are most interested in ag. It is going to take a bipartisan effort to get anything passed, and narrow victories in the mid-term elections should force many in Congress to work together. To some, compromise is not in their vocabulary, but it is going to take compromise to pass a farm bill. 

Previous Sen. Mike Enzi always said, “Let’s find out the 80 percent we can agree on and work with that.”

How true he was. His words are especially important today with all of the food insecurity issues.  

We are proud of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) as they have released a list of more than 60 recommendations regarding their top priorities heading into the farm bill debate, including continuing current farm bill funding and increasing commodity price supports.

Heading into the discussions of the farm bill before it expires on Sept. 20, 2023, AFBF President Zippy Duvall says fewer people, including legislators, have a proper understanding of the food system and even less have exposure to agriculture themselves. 

He says, “The farm bill has a long tradition of inspiring lawmakers to rise above politics to achieve a common goal.” 

I sure hope the tradition will continue on.

Another issue for the U.S. is Mexico’s plan to ban imports of genetically modified corn in 2024. The U.S. is threatening legal action against Mexico, arguing the ban would cause huge economic losses, significantly impact bilateral trade and violate the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade pact. For the first nine months of this year, trade between the U.S. and Mexico amounted to over $587 billion. 

Many of us are aware of agriculture impacts caused by the Ukraine-Russian war. The war and its consequential tariffs have shut down most of Russia and the Ukraine’s grain exports. 

All of these issues and more are a threat to the world’s food security. Agriculture is really tied closely around the world, just like oil, natural gas and computer chips.

In other news, be sure to remember the Wyoming Natural Resource Rendezvous Convention and Trade Show at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Casper on Dec. 5-8. It is a joint conference involving the Wyoming Wool Growers Association, the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts and the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with numerous industry leaders and have discussions on natural resource issues, politics and other matters affecting the ag industry. It will be a great learning experience and a lot of fun. Remember, it is easy to turn information into profits, you just have to be there.

See you there.

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