March 10, 2017
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, left, visits with Marshall County farmer Corey Hill at the Congressional Barbecue in Washington, D.C. March 8.
Optimism filled the air as 140 Alabama farmers descended on the nation's capital March 7-10, a stark contrast to trips during the previous administration, said Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell.
"Being in D.C. confirmed my belief that agriculture will experience real change under the Trump administration," Parnell said. "We've seen this with his order to review the Waters of the U.S. rule and look for other improvements over the next few years."
During the 2017 Washington Legislative Conference, farmers were updated on immigration and regulatory reform, biotechnology, the Endangered Species Act and more.
Wednesday, U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) encouraged farmers to share ideas and inputs about the upcoming farm bill.
"The beauty of doing farm bills every five years is you get to address the things you didn't get right," Conaway said. "We're going to get this bill done, and we're going to get it done on time."
Earlier that day, farmers were briefed by Special Assistant to the President and Director of White House Messaging Strategy Cliff Sims, who founded Yellowhammer News, and American Farm Bureau Federation Public Policy Executive Director Dale Moore.
Farmers met with Alabama's U.S. Representatives during Congressional breakfasts Thursday, followed by meetings with Sens. Richard Shelby and Luther Strange.
Other events included a Congressional barbecue, U.S. Department of Agriculture visit and British Embassy tour.