NAWG Pres. Jimmie Musick of Sentinel Says Patience is of Virtue as Farm Bill, Trade Talks ProgressTue, 24 Apr 2018 15:43:58 CDT
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays recently caught up with National Association of Wheat Growers President Jimmie Musick, a wheat grower from Sentinel, Okla. With the US and specifically Oklahoma’s wheat crop suffering this year amid exceptionally dry conditions and other damaging weather extremes, Musick says farmers are paying close attention as legislators in Washington begin to mold what will soon take shape as the next Farm Bill. Many growers are concerned in particular about programs that will help offset their risk as all commodity markets continue to be weighed down by an overall depressed rural economy at present. Musick insists NAWG is committed to seeing the process through and making sure policymakers keep farmers’ needs front of mind. Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“We will move it on through but I think it’s going to be slower than Chairman Conaway anticipates. I see some hold ups there,” Musick said. “But it’s headed in the right direction and we’ll be at the Capitol every day until it’s passed, making sure to keep crop insurance and some other things there.”
Aside from an adjustment higher in regard to the reference price, Musick says not much else will likely change in the Title 1 programs like ARC and PLC - at least he says NAWG is not asking for more than that.
“The first thing they’re going to ask us is where the money is going to come from,” he said. “So, we’ll see how that comes out.”
In other areas of the Farm Bill, Musick says there are some conflicting opinions about what should happen with conservation but says that debate is still being muddled out. Regarding market access and foreign development programs, Musick says NAWG continues to advocate for increased opportunities to market wheat around the globe, insisting that the prices at home will not be lifted until significant movement is seen on the massive stocks of wheat in the US. He remains optimistic that the administration will eventually make good on the trade deals promised - but encourages patience until such time as that prospect manifests.
As a lifelong farmer, Musick understands the importance of the work he and his association are doing on behalf of farmers now and for the next generation. He has dedicated his service in his role as a NAWG officer to that next generation which he hopes to nurture and protect in a world that is increasingly restrictive on agricultural producers.
“It’s really important to me that we maintain and continue to build that legacy to keep them in agriculture,” he said. “That’s not easy to make happen. We don’t need to lose the next generation. We need to be around to provide the safest food and fiber in the world.”
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