Feb 25, 2017Growers stand up for potatoes on Capitol Hill
The National Potato Council (NPC) hosted the 2017 Potato D.C. Fly-In from February 13-16, bringing together more than 150 U.S. potato growers and industry partners from across the country to advocate for the industry’s most pressing federal policy priorities. Growers visited Capitol Hill and met with federal regulators at USDA and EPA. During their Hill visits, growers urged Congress to address key industry issues including: immigration reform, potato breeding research funding, regulatory reform and international trade policy.
Before attendees took their messages to the Hill, they heard from Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA), in addition to renowned political analysts Dr. Larry Sabato from the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Charlie Cook, publisher of The Cook Political Report.
Industry experts on tax, GMO disclosure and the Food Safety Modernization Act also addressed the general sessions. Senior Senate Agriculture and Appropriations Committee staff spoke on the 2018 Farm Bill and key spending issues that may affect the potato industry this year. The week concluded with growers making visits to EPA to discuss organophosphates and registration reviews and to USDA to hear from agency officials on trade.
“Lawmakers and regulators sincerely appreciate the personal stories that Fly-in participants provided about the on-farm impact of federal policies. The impact of potato producers carrying those messages directly to policymakers is substantial and can yield a big return on investment,” said John Keeling, NPC Executive Vice President and CEO.
NPC also hosted a reception on February 15 in coordination with United Fresh Produce Association in the House Agriculture Committee hearing room, attended by members of Congress and Congressional staff. For photos of the Fly-In and other industry events, please visit NPC’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/nationalpotatocouncil.