Kansas City, Mo. — As hearings continue for the reauthorization of the farm bill in 2018, the Western Equipment Dealers Assn. (WEDA) has submitted their position to the farm bill discussions.

Because many of the elements in federal farm bills are based on sunset provisions, Congress entertains a farm bill once every five to seven years. The last farm bill was passed in 2014, and its provisions are set to expire in 2018. Current cost projections from the 2014 farm bill show significant savings going forward. At the same time, Congress undertakes its work on the farm bill at a precarious time for American agriculture.

“With net farm incomes decreasing by 50 percent over the last four years, now is not the time to rock the boat by proposing radical changes to farm policy,” said Eric Wareham, vice president of Government Affairs, WEDA. “Farm leverage ratios are at levels nearly equivalent to the 1980s, and the current safety net is what stands between many farms and total loss.” Wareham also added, “Current farm policy has a demonstrated track record to show that it works for producers and consumers at a historically low cost. This is a model to be replicated, not dismantled.”

As an advocacy association for equipment dealers, WEDA has submitted the following positions:

  • WEDA supports maintaining current U.S. farm policy and extending provisions of the 2014 farm bill to 2023 with minor adjustments.
  • WEDA supports continuation of current funding levels for Title I commodity programs and crop insurance programs with minor increases in reference prices used as the floor for the ARC-CO program.
  • WEDA opposes additional means testing for crop insurance.
  • WEDA supports expanding funding for certain trade promotion programs such as the Market Access Program (MAP).
  • WEDA supports expanding funding for rural infrastructure programs to enhance rural broadband.

“Equipment dealers play a pivotal role in working with producers to make them the most competitive and productive in the world. Their fates are tied together; producer success directly correlates to equipment dealer success,” said John Schmeiser, CEO, WEDA. “In order to preserve U.S. leadership in agriculture, we must have public policy in place that works.”

For more information about the Western Equipment Dealers Assn. farm bill position statement, contact Carolynn Sinclair at csinclair@westerneda.com or (800) 661-2452.

About Western Equipment Dealers Assn.

WEDA represents over 2,000 farm, industrial and outdoor power equipment dealers in every Canadian province with the exception of Quebec – as well as nine states in the U.S. — Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. WEDA also represents 1,250 U.S. hardware retailers in the same U.S. states plus Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska. As the largest equipment dealer association in North America and the largest regional trade association of its kind in North America, WEDA offers members a comprehensive array of dealer-oriented legislative, educational and communications services, ranging from lobbying to legal, accounting and marketing support.  WEDA also provides products and services that include industry and manufacturer relations, as well as industry information and intelligence. The Association’s many programs are either available only to members or provided at a reduced cost for members. Visit https://westerneda.com for more information.