Tag: congress

MDFB President Lobbies for Swift Passage of the 2023 Farm Bill

MDFB President Lobbies for Swift Passage of the 2023 Farm Bill

Maryland Farm Bureau President Wayne Stafford traveled to Washington DC last week to lobby for swift passage of the 2023 Farm Bill. He met with Maryland Senators, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Representatives Andy Harris (1st district) and David Trone (6th district). Rep. Harris is Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development Food and Drug Administration. 


His lobby visits to Capitol Hill took place during the annual American Farm Bureau Council of Presidents meeting that took place July 12 and 13. State Farm Bureau Presidents from across the nation heard from USDA Undersecretary for Trade Alexis Taylor, USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Robert Bonnie and House Majority Leader, Steve Scalise.


The farm bill impacts all Americans – from food availability and nutrition to jobs and the environment. It is the most significant legislation for farmers and ranchers, protecting their livelihoods and ensuring a safe, nutritious food supply. The farm bill is reauthorized every five years, and the current farm bill is set to expire on September 30, 2023. 


President Stafford told Members of Congress that failing to pass a new farm bill would have a serious impact on farming and food security in Maryland and across the United States. He told elective officials that it is essential for Congress to prioritize passage of a new farm bill this year.


Farm Bureau’s overarching priorities include:

·      Continuing current farm bill program funding.

·      Maintaining a unified farm bill the includes nutrition programs and farm programs together.

·      Prioritizing risk management tools that include federal crop insurance and commodity programs.

·      Ensuring adequate USDA staffing and resources to provide technical assistance. 


Other issued raised by President Stafford during his Congressional visits included the importance of an available and reliable farm labor workforce and concerns about the recent Supreme Court decision that allow one state to impose production standards on commodities grown or harvested outside its borders.


Maryland Farm Bureau Lobbies Congress on 2023 Farm Bill

Maryland Farm Bureau Lobbies Congress on 2023 Farm BILL

Two Maryland Farm Bureau members petitioned Congress for prompt passage of the 2023 Farm Bill during the American Farm Bureau’s Advocacy Fly-In in Washington DC last week. Joining 150 farmers from across the country were Karl Shlagel of Waldorf and Emmy Dallam of Bel Air.

“It’s crucial that lawmakers hear directly from the people who are affected by farm policy,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “America’s farmers and ranchers are dedicated to growing the food, fuel and fiber families across the nation rely on. We know how important the farm bill is to maintaining a secure and sustainable food supply. I’m confident the personal stories shared by our members will help inspire lawmakers to support and swiftly pass a new farm bill.”

Attendees were informed there are 260 members – more than half of Congress – who have never worked on a farm bill, making personal stories of impact even more important. Farm Bureau members also discussed other pressing issues facing agriculture, including the need for Congress to address agricultural labor reform.

Agriculture Committee leaders spoke before the group fanned out across Capitol Hill. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Penn.) and Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.) addressed the group. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott (D-Ga.) sent a video message. They discussed the challenges they’ll face in getting the farm bill passed this year and urged attendees to speak with as many elected leaders as they can, both in Washington and when members of Congress return home. They stressed the value of personal connections and stories of direct impact, including through the Advocacy Fly-In.

Shlagel and Dallam visited the offices of their Maryland representative and both Maryland senators to tell their farm story and relay the urgency of passing a farm bill this year. They stressed the importance of the farm bill safety net and conservation programs to Maryland agriculture and talked about the need for a reliable agricultural workforce.

Maryland Farm Bureau Takes Farm Message to Capitol Hill

Presidents Leadership Summit attendees converge on our Nation’s Capital to discuss important ag issues

The influence of Maryland Farm Bureau was on full display when County Farm Bureau presidents and Maryland Farm Bureau board members took the farm message to Capitol Hill in late September. Visits with Maryland representatives and senators took place during the two-day County Presidents Leadership Summit that was based out of American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) headquarters in Washington D.C. 

After being briefed by AFBF policy specialists on the current status of issues, the group split up and headed to Capitol Hill to deliver the farm message to six Maryland representatives. Some of the meetings were in-person, some were with staff specialists, and one was virtual — illustrating that Congress has not yet returned to its pre-COVID routine. The next morning, the entire group heard from and was able to ask questions of both Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen at the Capitol Visitors Center. 

The issues that were discussed with elected officials, included:

  • Adequate funding for and prompt passage of the 2023 Farm Bill.
  • The need for tax code certainty in the face of expiring small business tax relief.
  • The importance of expanding high-speed broadband service to all areas of Maryland.
  • The negative impact that inflation and rising input costs are having on farm businesses. 

Personal stories shared by MDFB members drove home the importance of Congress dealing with these issues in a prompt and meaningful way. 

The lobby trip to Washington to meet members of Congress on their turf is only one of the many ways that MDFB works to influence national policy to help Maryland agriculture. The organization also maintains regular contact with Congressional offices, organizes in-district meetings and farm tours for elected officials, submits comments to regulatory agencies, and coordinates individual grassroots advocacy for maximum impact.

Maryland Farm Bureau Presents Five Maryland Congressmen “Friend of Farm Bureau” Recognition

Maryland Farm Bureau Presents Five Maryland Congressmen “Friend of Farm Bureau” Recognition
Maryland representatives awarded for their agricultural support in the state

DAVIDSONVILLE, MD. (September 21, 2022) — Five members of Maryland’s congressional delegation were named “Friend of Farm Bureau” for the 117th Congress. The American Farm Bureau Federation awards were given to Congressmen Andy Harris (District 1), Steny Hoyer (District 5), Dutch Ruppersberger (District 2), John Sarbanes (District 3), and David Trone (District 6) for their leadership and advocacy in supporting Maryland’s farmers, and food security for American consumers.

“The support of this year’s Friend of Farm Bureau recipients helps to preserve the future of family farms in Maryland, maintain our ability to produce safe and affordable food, and provide resources to assist farmers in implementing environmentally friendly practices,” said Maryland Farm Bureau President Wayne Stafford. “We are very fortunate to have elected officials in Washington, D.C., who understand and appreciate the important role agriculture plays in our nation.”

The Friend of Farm Bureau awards are presented at the end of each Congress to lawmakers based on individual voting records on Farm Bureau priority issues which, in 2021 and 2022, included emergency COVID assistance for farmers, rural broadband access, funding for infrastructure, and ocean shipping reform.

“Maryland’s farming community is the backbone of our state providing an abundant and reliable supply of food, renewable fuel, and fiber,” said Stafford. “Farm Bureau is honored to recognize these five members of Congress for their outstanding support that ensures our rural and urban agricultural communities continue to thrive.”

The Friend of Farm Bureau awards, which began in 1996, were presented during Maryland Farm Bureau’s Council of County Presidents Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.

# # #

MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 10,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. For more information, visit www.mdfarmbureau.com

Amber Pearson, Director of Media Relations
Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (TSN Communications) 
573-268-6853  |  amber@tsncommunications.com

Tax Proposals Put Future of American Farms at Risk

Tax Proposals Put Future of American Farms at Risk

WASHINGTON, September 8, 2021 – The American Farm Bureau Federation, along with 46 state Farm Bureaus and 280 organizations representing family-owned agribusinesses, sent a letter today to congressional leaders urging them to leave important tax policies in place as they draft legislation implementing President Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda. The letter addresses four key tax provisions that make it possible for farmers and ranchers to survive and pass their businesses on to the next generation: estate taxes, stepped-up basis, 199A small business deduction and like-kind exchanges.

“The policies Congress enacts now will determine agricultural producers’ ability to secure affordable land to start or expand their operations,” the letter states. “Regardless of whether a business has already been passed down through multiple generations or is just starting out, the key to their longevity is a continued ability to transition when a family member or business partner dies. For this reason, we firmly believe the current federal estate tax code provisions must be maintained.”

These tools are as crucial as ever as the number of farmers and ranchers 65 and older outnumber those 35 and under by a four-to-one margin. More than 370 million acres are expected to change hands in the next two decades.

“As the economic backbone of nearly every county and rural community across the U.S., the importance of American agriculture and related industries cannot be overlooked,” the letter continues. “Farmers, ranchers, and family-owned agribusiness operators are responsible for producing the safe, affordable, and abundant food, fiber, and fuel supplies Americans enjoy every day. As the stewards of nearly 900 million acres of crop and rangeland, farmers and ranchers play an important role in terms of natural resource and land conservation. For agricultural producers, carrying on the legacy of our predecessors and setting the next generation up for success is critically important.”

Read the full letter here.


Mike Tomko
Office (202) 406-3642
Cell (410) 445-8829

Bailey Corwine
Office (202) 406-3643
Cell (785) 409-2050

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