Ag Industry Leaders Congratulate Biden, Echo His Call for Unity
Following the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States, agriculture industry leaders congratulated Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. They also echoed Biden’s call for unity and a commitment for Americans to work together toward common goals.
In a statement, American Farm Bureau president Zippy Duval said addressing the needs of America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities is important, including strengthening the farm bill, expanding trade, finding a fair solution to the farm labor shortage and expanding rural broadband access.
“We are also looking for partners in our efforts to achieve sustainability goals while ensuring climate policies remain market-based and voluntary. We have been meeting with President Biden’s nominees to discuss priority issues and today we shift into high gear to achieve these goals,” he said. “All of this can be done if we commit ourselves to working together for a better America. Agriculture is traditionally divided more by regional differences than by political parties. We urge our elected leaders to continue that tradition of bipartisanship in the agriculture committees and throughout our government. Our country faces some big challenges. Let’s get to work on solutions.”
Similarly, the National Milk Producers Federation CEO Jim Mulhern noted what he called the dawn of a new chapter in American history.
“Inaugurations represent new beginnings and new opportunities. This is especially important today, as we begin this journey at a time of turmoil that has intensified in recent months and weeks,” he said in a statement. “We in dairy offer our own commitment to work on a bipartisan basis for progress on issues important to dairy farmers, their cooperatives and the greater good. We also look forward to engaging with the broader agricultural community to meet our common challenges and build a thriving rural America that lifts the entire nation.”
Constance Cullman president and CEO of the American Feed Industry Association noted the need to curb COVID-19 and spur the economy.
“Now more than ever, we need a strategy that will curb the spread of COVID-19 and get our economy going and growing again; an efficient regulatory system that allows U.S. manufacturers to swiftly bring innovations that can improve animal health and nutrition to the marketplace; and trade policies that foster opportunities for growth and leadership abroad to maintain our competitive edge,” she said in a statement. “We also look forward to working together on a science-based strategy for tackling climate change and improving rural infrastructure, including improving the connectivity of the rural communities responsible for keeping us fed in times of calm and crisis.”
Emily Skor CEO of Growth Energy congratulated the president and vice president while noting President Biden’s campaign promise to “usher in a new era of biofuels.”
“We look forward to working with the President and his Administration to deliver on his promise and include biofuels as a big part of the climate strategy for decarbonizing the transportation sector immediately,” she said in a statement.
The Ag Retailers Association CEO and President Daren Coppock joined the other leaders in looking forward to working on issues critical to their trade group.
"The Biden transition team worked diligently to be inclusive of ag retailers from day one, and for that we are grateful. We appreciate the engagement we have already had with the leadership of the incoming administration and look forward to continuing those relationships for a bright future for American agriculture," Coppock said.
Chuck Conner of the National Council for Cooperatives suggested a key piece of agriculture’s success under the new administration hinges on the confirmation of Tom Vilsack, President Biden’s choice for Agriculture Secretary.
“Key to ensuring that happens will be filling out the leadership team at the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” he said in a statement. “We urge the Senate to quickly take up and confirm the nominations of Tom Vilsack for secretary of agriculture and Jewel Bronaugh for deputy secretary of agriculture.”