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Government Relations

2015 Agricultural and Applied Economics Congressional Visits Day

Agenda, Visits schedule, Leave behind and Talking points

Agricultural and applied economics research and information underpin not only the capacity of the American agricultural and resource enterprises but also the vitality of economies and communities world-wide. The Agricultural and Applied Economics Congressional Visits Day (CVD) is a day and a half event that brings agricultural and applied economics professionals and executives to Washington, DC to raise awareness about the importance of agricultural and applied economics analysis, research, and related statistical resources.

Agricultural and applied economics experts who participate in the CVD provide a valuable service to the profession. Discussions that take place in DC at CVD highlight the role of agricultural economics in the U.S. agricultural, food, and resource research “solution supply chains”. Such exchange of information also aids in increasing the quality of discourse and efficiency of decision-making related to national and international economic policy and research priority setting.

During the CVD, the members of the profession have the opportunity to meet with members of Congress or their congressional staff to describe the work taking place in their departments or personal research portfolio. The effort is a relationship-building exercise that helps to connect the policymaker to on-the-ground economic research. It also serves to highlight the important cooperative role that intermural research and extramural research, education, and extension programs have in serving the nation. The intramural research and federal statistical resources which members of the profession coordinate with or use to undertake research are also discussed.

Finally, during the CVD, the biennial Friend of Agricultural Economics Award is presented to one or more Members of Congress for their support of economics research, extension, education, and reasoning. This year, Chairman Roberts received the award in his DC office (see center top photo below). See the photos on Twitter as well.

In the past, the award has honored the following: Representative Greg Walden (2013), Senators Debbie Stabenow and Roy Blunt (2011), Representative Chet Edwards (2009), Representative Frank Lucas (2007), Representatives Adam Putnam and Rosa DeLauro (2005), and Senator Thad Cochran (2003).

The "solution supply chain" is reference from the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation's University Leader Report on Pursuing a Unified Message. The report can be found here.

Photos from 2015 Agricultural and Applied Economics Congressional Visits Day.

Budget and Appropriations:
The Debt Ceiling, Appropriations, and the 2013 Legacy

On March 16, 2015, the Treasury reported that the statutory debt limit had been reached. Since then, the U.S. Treasury has used extraordinary measures to forestall a full default. On October 1, Secretary Jacob Lew sent another letter to the U.S. Congress. This time, he indicated that Treasury received quarterly corporate and individual tax receipts and information about large trust funds. The receipts were lower than projected and the trust fund investments, higher, resulting in a net decrease of resources available to the U.S. government. Secretary Lew stated in the letter that, “based on this new information, we now estimate that Treasury is likely to exhaust its extraordinary measures on or about Thursday, November 5.”

As the activities of the next few weeks unfold after Congress returns from recess, we will see that the leadership will have to make a decision as to which pressing issue they will focus on first. We saw at the end of September that Congress managed to pass a continuing resolution for government funding of the current fiscal year (FY 16) via PL 114-53 which expires on December 11. In addition to the inability of the Congress to agree upon appropriations for the current fiscal year according to the calendar, Ohio Representative, Speaker John Boehner, announced his resignation from the House of Representatives on September 25, pushing the House to come up with a leadership solution that would bring the Republican Caucus together for the coming battles.

Speaker Boehner remains, at least for the time being, a key player for negotiating both the debt limit increase as well as passage of a 2016 omnibus appropriations bill. But, who will take his place and when? California Representative Kevin McCarthy, Boehner’s natural successor, has indicated that he will not run for the position of Speaker. After that announcement, Rep. Boehner indicated that he would remain in the leadership role until a new leader was named. Many Republicans are hoping that Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan will replace Boehner. The House is on recess this week, prolonging the answer these questions. Meanwhile, agencies are carrying on their processes based on the continuation of FY 15 funding levels amidst hopes that the costs and impacts of the 2013 government shut-down will deter those in leadership positions enough to avoid another. All of these factors place additional strain on an already packed calendar of work.

AAEA Government Relations Events:

Save the Dates!

Two AAEA Board Members will visit DC to present their research and meet with agency and industry contacts via AAEA Government Relations Programs.

The Role of U.S. Agriculture in Chinese Market: Factors affecting Chinese food and agricultural trade.

C-FARE/NC-FAR Lunch~n~Learn on Monday, October 26, 2015 in Longworth House Office Building room 1302 at 12:00 pm ET

Moderator: Dr. Joseph Glauber, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute
Speaker: Dr. Holly Wang, Professor at the Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

China is the largest food and agricultural export market for the United States, receiving about $30 billion, or 20% of total agricultural export value, in 2014 (including Hong Kong). The Chinese importing market is broad, extending from bio- and ag-inputs such as seeds, farm chemicals, animal genes, and veterinary supplies, all the way to ready-to-eat (or drink) food in the retail or food service sectors, with the majority being commodities such as soybeans, DDGS, hides and skins, tree nuts, coarse grains, cotton, and beef.  As the Chinese population, income, and urbanization continue to grow against its natural resource constraints, the demand in agricultural products from the global market is also expected to increase. However, this market is rather complicated—with non-tariff trade barriers, strong domestic production supported by the Chinese government, consumer food safety fears caused by the domestic farming and processing sector’s substandard behaviors, and the public concerns about biotechnology due to confusing and incomplete information. Amid these complexities, Dr. Wang will address the Chinese food market with an emphasis from the U.S. trade perspective. Information, knowledge, and outlook for stakeholders to vision the roles each can play in the world market will be discussed.

The Science of School Lunch (Tentative title only.)

C-FARE/NC-FAR Lunch~n~Learn on Thursday, November 5, 2015 in Longworth House Office Building room 1300 at 12:00 pm ET

Moderator: Caron Gala, Executive Director of C-FARE
Speaker: Dr. David Just, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University

Drs. Wang and Just will also be undertaking congressional and agency visits on behalf of the AAEA Government Relations Committee as part of her schedule. Please email Caron Gala at if you are interested in attending.

C-FARE Events: Save the Date

Energizing the U.S. Economy: Rural America at the Epicenter of America's Energy Future

Reserve Officers Association - Top of the Hill Symposia Room - 1 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002 Register Here

In addition to being a food and agricultural powerhouse, rural America is also the epicenter of American investment in and deployment of renewable and fossil energy. The Appalachian states, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming are positioned in the eye of the shale explosion, while the Midwest and Great Plains are leading wind energy and biofuel investments. By simultaneously examining the collective impacts of several energy sources, it is possible to obtain a more thorough assessment of the implications of federal policy-making approaches.

As decision makers consider policy methods to advance America's energy and economic future, it is critical to be aware of the structure and economics of rural energy impacts for landowners and local communities. Wind, solar, and shale gas development each have labor, leasing, and financing implications for the local, regional, and national energy economies. The event will cover:

  • The importance, vulnerability, and potential impact of the U.S. rural energy economy in providing greater energy security.
  • The local and regional implications of income benefits that farmers and landowners receive from land use-related energy contracts and that local communities receive from taxes and other new revenues.
  • The long-term community impacts of energy tax incentives and industry maturation.
  • Programs that support rural energy infrastructure and growth.
  • The event will conclude with a summary of the anticipated policy choices for rural energy development. Generally, the ideal for integration is to minimize impacts, maximize benefits, and support long-run growth.


9:00 am EST- Introduction

9:05 am EST- Keynote - Why the rural energy economy matters for both renewable and oil and shale gas development in the context of the energy policy.

9:30 am EST - Focus: Local Governments

10:30 am EST - Focus: Landowners and Famers

11:30 am EST - Focus: From the Field

  • Kelley Oehler, Rural Business Program Branch Chief at USDA Rural Development.

12:00 pm EST - Closing Comments

Co-sponsored by the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses in the USDA Office of the Chief Economist