Farmers from around the country gathered on Jan. 10 in Atlanta for the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention. During the closing general session, members heard from President Biden and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
Appearing via a prerecorded message, President Biden told farmers that they deserved affordable seed and other inputs, fair prices in livestock and other markets, timely exports of products around the world, the right to repair equipment. He also talked about his administration’s plan to expand meat processing capacity.
Secretary Vilsack appeared live and gave remarks that focused on trade, including increased trade deal enforcement, rural broadband, and investments in livestock processing.
Vilsack also said that, as part of a number of new climate initiative partnerships and investments the USDA announced recently, the agency has a goal of doubling the number of corn and soybean acres using cover crops to 30 million acres by 2030.
“Listening to Farm Bureau and listening to those in agriculture, we know that it’s important to establish a partnership in this effort [to create climate-smart commodities],” Secretary Vilsack said. “This is not something that’s top-down, this is really a bottom-up effort.
“We know that it has to be voluntary, and it has to be incentive-based. It can’t be regulated,” Vilsack continued.