Farm groups congratulate Biden, prepare to work with new administration

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Ohio Farm Bureau presidents' trip
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

*Updated 1/20

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris officially began their four year terms following a swearing in ceremony Jan. 20. Multiple farm and agricultural groups congratulated Biden and Harris and said they are ready to work with the new administration.

The American Farm Bureau Federation said it is ready to work with Biden and Harris on issues including farm labor, rural broadband access, climate policy and trade.

“The past several weeks have been difficult for all of America. We were saddened by the violence that threatened a peaceful transfer of power, but what we witnessed today is a hallmark of what has made this country an example for the rest of the world,” said farm bureau president Zippy Duvall. “We have peacefully ushered in new leaders and with them new appreciation for the resilience of our democracy. Today, we turn the page, learn the lessons and look to the future with the hope and optimism that are core to who we are as Americans.”

National Farmers Union President Rob Larew said the U.S. is facing multiple crises, including a pandemic, political and social divisions, economic inequality and a rapidly changing climate.

“Tackling just one of these problems — let alone all of them — will be no easy feat. However, we are confident that President Biden and Vice President Harris are up to the task … there’s no time to waste to put those plans into action,” Larew said.

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture said it is ready to work with the new administration, and that its top policy priorities are food systems and safety, infrastructure and capacity, climate resiliency, international trade and workforce development.

Rural Voices USA welcomed Biden’s message of unity.

“The next year will prove critical to whether we can bridge the rural-urban divide in our politics,” said board chairman Christopher Gibbs, calling for investments in infrastructure, COVID-19 recovery and alternative energy sources. “The key will be to ensure these legislative efforts are done in a way that doesn’t ignore the people they impact. To do that, we will need rural voices at the table.”

The National Milk Producers Federation congratulated Biden and Harris.

“Inaugurations represent new beginnings and new opportunities. This is especially important today, as we begin this journey at a time of turmoil that has intensified in recent months and weeks,” the federation said in a statement.

Chuck Conner, president of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, said the council strongly supports the new administration’s top priority — addressing the pandemic — and also looks forward to working with the administration on other priorities.

“Issues such as climate change and immigration reforms are ones that NCFC and their members have been leaders on,” Conner said. “As work begins on them, it is critical that the voices of America’s farmers and ranchers are heard in the policymaking process.”

The National Corn Growers Association sent a letter about opportunities for corn growers over the next four years to Biden.

“As you know, farmers are optimistic by nature. Each year we plant seeds in the ground, rely on a combination of mother nature and innovation, and we are hopeful that those seeds will generate a profitable commodity. In that same regard, we are optimistic about the opportunity for farmers to play an innovative role in combating climate change and expanding our overseas markets,” the letter read.

*Story was updated to add comments from the National Corn Growers Association

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