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View from the Cab: Better than coal

Farmers finally received something other than a lump of coal in their stocking when word came last week that an agreement was reached by the United States, Canada and Mexico to replace NAFTA.

You may think farmers lack a voice in trade matters but you better think again. Thanks to the efforts of the Illinois Farm Bureau, we are moving toward a vote on USMCA. Just a day after IFB approved a resolution urging Congress and the administration to work to resolve any remaining trade differences, Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a press conference.

All signals point to a positive outcome based on Pelosi’s press conference and communication between this administration and the U.S. trade representative.

“They got that package where it needed to be to get it ready and put it to a vote,” said DeAnne Bloomberg, director of issue management for Illinois Farm Bureau.

IFB will be pushing members to ensure USMCA passes both the House and Senate.

“We are confident that it will,” Bloomberg told me.

Also at the IFB annual meeting in Chicago, delegates encouraged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to publish a final rule which addresses Small Refinery Exemptions proliferation while preserving the integrity and intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“We are a mature organization but I’m always impressed with the delegates and how they continue to stay current with the issues that are front page news,” added Bloomberg.

Updating policy on climate change was another annual meeting matter. This gives IFB and farmers a better opportunity to become engaged in conversation.

In case you are wondering how it all works, every county Farm Bureau has the chance to submit policy resolutions to be reviewed by the Resolutions Committee, which is made up of county presidents. It is truly a grassroots process – something the IFB is most proud of.

(The View from the Cab blog is powered each week by Petersen Motors in Fairbury)

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