Legislative update

The Irrigation Association continues to focus on influencing the national and state policy debate by promoting efficient irrigation. Throughout the year, the IA has engaged in ongoing conversations about water use and has worked to promote incentives for efficient technologies. The irrigation industry can offer unique solutions to current policy issues, and IA is focused on maintaining relationships with stakeholders in the broader agriculture and landscape industries to advance irrigation industry priorities.

Irrigation infrastructure

When the majority of Americans think of the word “infrastructure,” most think of roads, trains, airports or maybe even hospitals. Rarely does one think of water, unless they are, of course, part of the water or irrigation industry. However, thanks to the Irrigation Association’s recent efforts on Capitol Hill, irrigation infrastructure investment is getting some new light.

Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., recently wrote a letter to President Trump requesting in- creased investment in irrigation infrastruc- ture as any part of a larger infrastructure package supported by the Trump admin- istration. IA staff assisted Smith in writing the letter to President Trump and lobbied other representatives to join him in signing it, which resulted in 13 additional represen- tatives signing the letter.

“Today, despite the United States being a global leader in the development and manufacture of advanced irrigation tech- nology, investment in irrigation infrastruc- ture has languished since the 19th

wrote Smith. “This has placed our farmers and ranchers at a global disadvantage as our 21st a 19th

As a result of this letter, the IA hopes to bring our nation’s aging rural water infra-

structure and the challenges it presents to irrigators throughout the United States to the forefront during any discussion on infrastructure investment. To view the final letter, please visit irrigationinfrastructure.

Reorganization of the USDA

“Do right and feed people.” This is the new motto of the USDA, as coined by newly appointed Secretary of Agriculture Son- ny Perdue. During a hearing before the House Committee on Agriculture, Perdue repeatedly stated this motto, as he both promoted and defended the proposed organizational changes within the USDA to members of the committee. Among the biggest changes are the creation of an un- dersecretary for trade and foreign agricul- tural affairs, the creation of an undersecre- tary for farm production and conservation, and the elimination of the undersecretary focused on rural development.


century technologies are subject to century infrastructure.”

Created by the 2014 farm bill, but never appointed by President Obama, the under- secretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs will focus on promoting U.S. agricul- tural commodities throughout the world, in addition to managing the Foreign Agricul- tural Service, which will now report to this undersecretary as part of the proposed reorganization.

“Our plan to establish an undersecretary for trade fits right in line with my goal to be American agriculture’s unapologetic advo- cate and chief salesman around the world. By working side by side with our U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the USDA undersecretary for trade will ensure that American producers are well equipped to sell their products and feed the world,” Perdue said.

Directly affecting U.S. farm operations, the undersecretary for farm production and conservation will now manage the Farm Service Agency, the Risk Management Agency and the Natural Resources Conser- vation Service. “The goal of that position is to provide a simplified one-stop shop for the USDA’s primary customers: American farmers, ranchers and foresters,” Perdue wrote in his op-ed.

Throughout his first few months as sec- retary of agriculture, Perdue has signaled support for conservation programs and the importance of passing a farm bill before the current bill expires in the fall of 2018. However, the reorganization remains to be his primary focus. 11

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40