Crop Insurance Today - 24

Tom Zacharias at the Agri-Pulse Farm Bill
Summit.

Budget Office) has is not enough to have a good
safety net for the food security of our country
and that's why at American Farm Bureau we're
asking for increases in that baseline so we can
build a true farm bill that helps us through the
next four years."

A panel at the Summit, "Bridging the Gap Between Farm and Food Policy," included veterans
of past farm bills and those familiar with issues
like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
"I think the alliance between farmers and
people who work in the nutrition field or people
who worry about hunger should last every year,
not just every fifth year or every fourth year when
we deal with the farm bill," explained Missouri
Farm Bureau President, Blake Hurst. "We in agriculture spend a lot of time worrying about protecting the technologies that are so important to
what I like to call 'conventional farmers,' and our
natural allies in that fight, as well as in the farm
bill fight, are people who care about the price of
food."
Michel Nischan, CEO/Founder of Wholesome Wave, told attendees that "...SNAP accounts for $110 billion in consumer retail spending after factoring in private spending from
shoppers. There is a real business case for keeping
SNAP and the farm bill together."
Other panelists included: Carrie Calvert, Vice
President, Feeding America, and Matt Perin,
Head of Government Relations, The Kroger Co.
Sara Wyant, CEO of Agri-Pulse, moderat-

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24

MAY2017

Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm
Bureau Federation speaking at the Agri-Pulse
Farm Bill Summit.

ed another panel "Conservation - What Works,
What Doesn't." Panel participants included: Tina
May, Sr. Director of Sustainability, Land O'Lakes;
Eric Lindstrom, National Manager of Agriculture
Policy, Ducks Unlimited; Suzy Friedman, Sr. Director of Agriculture Sustainability, Environmental Defense Fund; Dave White, Co-Founder/Partner, 9-B Group; and Anne Simmons, Democratic
Staff Director, House Agriculture Committee.
The group discussed the transition of conservation programs found in the 1980s to the
evolution of the public and private conservation
of today.
"I'll tell you what's working," Dave White said.
"It's voluntary, inventive-based private land conservation. We've seen some phenomenal things."
Another panel, 'Next Generation Risk Management - What Does it Look Like?' was moderated by Agri-Pulse's Jeff Nalley.
Panelist, Mary Kay Thatcher, Sr. Director of
Congressional Relations, American Farm Bureau
Federation, said AFBF had a hard time engaging
their farmers during the long 2014 Farm Bill process, but that "low prices will mean farmers will
be more active in the [2018] farm bill debate."
Most of the panelists reiterated their organizations' support for crop insurance, but also acknowledged that critics will be vocal in asking for


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