When U.S. House Democrats announced Tuesday that they would support passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), it was a welcome step toward implementation of this important trade deal.
Fifteen months have passed since the three nations reached an initial agreement. During that time, USMCA supporters worked diligently and persistently to garner support in Congress and eventually put this to a vote.
The South Dakota Corn Growers Association was one of the supporting groups that continued the fight through thick and thin, sometimes frustrated by the delays but never giving up. We worked with the National Corn Growers Association, other state corn associations, ethanol groups and our congressional delegation to keep pushing the issue. There was strong support from many other agricultural and business groups, too.
Some of the most-important USMCA supporters were farmers, many of whom emailed or called their elected officials and the White House and participated in organized campaigns to let Washington know where we stand.
Eventually we prevailed, and the USMCA will go before Congress, where we believe it will pass. The House could vote next week while the Senate is likely to act in January.
The biggest relief this agreement will provide for farmers is having certainty that they can continue selling their products to the United States’ two largest agricultural export markets–vitally important at a time when the agricultural economy has slumped.
This is a great example of what can be accomplished with broad support, cooperation and hard work. The more of us who can unite behind important causes and work together, the more we can accomplish. The bigger our voice, the louder our message.
That’s why it is incredibly important for the SDCGA to have a strong, solid membership. Our members make this an extremely effective and successful organization. And here’s where we make our pitch for you to become a member of our association, if you aren’t already.
We need you. We will represent you in Pierre and Washington, D.C. We promise we’ll work hard and stand up for you. And by joining our association, you automatically become a member of the National Corn Growers Association, which has many resources and staff members in D.C.
When we band together, we can make a huge difference. Our committed and loyal membership base allows South Dakota farmers to have a stronger, more vocal presence in Pierre and Washington, D.C. While one individual’s opinion comes across as a whisper, a large group’s message resonates loudly and clearly to our policymakers. That’s why your membership is so valued.
The USMCA is just one of the many big issues that affect agriculture. We and our industry partners have been pushing hard for a U.S.-China free-trade deal. That hasn’t come to fruition yet, but we’re hopeful it will eventually. We’ve also worked tirelessly on ethanol issues, hammering the Environmental Protection Agency’s policies and appealing to President Trump. We’ve fought against unfair ethanol blending waivers and argued for the EPA to uphold the law and maintain Renewable Volume Obligations. We’ve worked with our congressional delegation to develop farm bills that protect a strong safety net for farmers.
At the state level, we’re constantly monitoring legislative issues, standing up for farmers and fighting detrimental bills. We’ll alert you when there are issues that could affect your business. The SDCGA also promotes ethanol and funds research, new marketing opportunities and emerging uses. Our marketing campaigns educate consumers about the many good things farmers are doing.
In addition to being part of an organization that represents your interests and works hard on your behalf, you’ll receive some financial benefits as a member. If you sign up for a new or continuing 3-year membership in December, we’ll send you a $25 Cabelas gift card. You’ll also receive $90 in seed certificates and receive other national discounts.
To join or learn more about membership benefits, call our office at 605-334-0100 or go to our website at www.sdcorn.org.
Also, be sure to join us at our 34th Annual Conference on January 18 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Market-to-Market host Delaney Howell will moderate the educational sessions and we’re bringing in top-notch speakers who will provide information on grain marketing, weather marketing and a variety of water issues. Keynote speaker for the evening banquet is Paul Mobley, a renowned photographer and author of “American Farmer.” This year’s entertainment will feature the return of the popular The Johnny Holm Band, which was a big hit last year.
To those of you who are already members, we thank you for your continued support.