More than 70 farmers, state staff and college students interested in agriculture yesterday participated in the 2019 Trade School, a one-day session meant to deepen their knowledge on trade issues and hone their messaging to help better convey the benefits of agricultural trade to outside audiences.
The event is held annually by NCGA and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and was held this year in association with Corn Congress in Washington, D.C.
NCGA is closely following ongoing trade disputes and negotiations, and members in Washington, D.C. this week will be urging lawmakers to ratify the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement would solidify a $4.56 billion export market for America’s corn farmers and provide certainty to farmers facing challenging times.
“Agricultural trade has vastly expanded market opportunities for U.S. farmers. Today, it seems like everyday farmers wake up to a new headline regarding trade. Whether it is the pursuit of new opportunities, the imposition of tariffs, or the threat of losing existing markets, trade has been dominating the conversation,” said Melissa Kessler, USGC director of strategic relations.
“Trade School was an opportunity to get past the rhetoric, dive deep into the facts of trade and help attendees gain confidence in talking about trade to a wide variety of stakeholders.”
Trade School attendees learned from public and private sector experts about the importance of trade to the agriculture sector and the current state of play for USMCA, and trade with China and Japan. Many participants will take their message to Capitol Hill later this week.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.