John Heisdorffer of Keota says keeping a close eye on trade policy will be among his top priorities.
“Without trade, soybean growers are going to be in big trouble,” Heisdorffer says. “NAFTA is a big thing right now. We lost TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) which would’ve been a great thing for ag organizations. Since the inception of NAFTA, we’ve increased trade with Canada and Mexico four times. In 2016 alone, it was three-billion dollars.”
Heisdorffer says another primary goal is the next farm bill and making sure lawmakers put together a solid piece of legislation containing a robust crop insurance program.
“Farmers gave up direct payments in the last farm bill and that was a huge security for us,” he says. “Crop insurance is kind of the only thing we have left to have that safety net. That would be the number-one priority in our farm bill.”
Heisdorffer says another goal is to get a new CEO in place for the ASA to replace Steve Censky who took a top post at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We lost Steve to Deputy Secretary of Agriculture,” he says. “We’ve been working on that since his confirmation. That’s one thing, going into the new year, hopefully by spring, we’ll have that person in place.”
Heisdorffer says they’ll also continue to work for solutions on the Dicamba herbicide issue, and make sure producers have that option available to them to control weeds.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton