Speaking at the recent USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum, AFBF President Zippy Duvall also expressed optimism over the nomination of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to head the Agriculture Department, in a release.
“You couldn’t ask for a finer gentleman or a stronger champion for our farmers and ranchers,” Duvall said in the release. “I believe he could be one of the all-time great secretaries of Agriculture. And we need him confirmed so he can get to work.”
There are other, more serious concerns for the AFBF however, especially when it comes to harvest time. The group is urging caution for lawmakers when it comes to immigration policy, something that has been echoed recently by other farm organizations.
“If we can’t get the labor to harvest our crops here in the U.S., we will be importing more fruits and vegetables and other commodities from other countries,” Duvall said in the release. “(The) farm bureau supports protecting our borders. But we can’t just do enforcement and leave our farmers holding the bag. We also need a way for the workers who have been on our farms for years and know their way around a farm to get an adjustment in status and stay here, helping us feed America with American-grown food.”
Trade is also a major concern for the AFBF, and with the President Donal Trump's threats to end the North American Free Trade Agreement, and moves to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Duvall reminded attendees at the conference that Mexico remains one of America’s larges trading partners. The AFBF plans to work with other farm groups to advise both Congress and the administration to address issues and develop a plan to continue to expand trade.