READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, November 5th…

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House Ag Chair Defeated

Agriculture lost decades of experience in the defeat of House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson. The Minnesota Democrat lost Tuesday to the Republican Challenger Michelle Fischbach (Fish-bock), garnering 53 percent to Peterson’s 39 percent of votes in Minnesota’s District 7. In a statement, Peterson said, “We ran a strong and positive campaign, but with the President winning this district by 30 points again, and the millions in outside money that was spent to attack me, the partisan tilt of this district was just too much to overcome.” Peterson has led Democrats on the committee for the last three farm bills. Based on seniority, Democratic Representative’s Jim Costa of California, David Scott of Georgia, or Marcia Fudge of Ohio, could become the next House Agriculture Committee Chair. Fischbach’s campaign has indicated she would seek a seat on the committee. Democrats retained control of the House but did lose a few seats, thinning the majority margin.

Marshall Wins Kansas Senate Race to Replace Roberts

Roger Marshall won the Senate race in Kanas to replace Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts. The Republican Marshall won the seat with 53 percent of the vote. Roberts has served Kansas since 1981, starting in the House of Representatives. Roberts has also served as both the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and the Senate Agriculture Committee. Marshall is a member of the House Ag Committee, serving on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit, and the Livestock and Foreign Agriculture subcommittees. Marshall represented the large First District of Kansas since 2017.  Republican Tracey Mann won the district seat with 71 percent of the vote. In his victory speech, Mann said, “I vow to be an advocate for agriculture.” With the retirement of Roberts and Republican Representative Mike Conaway of Texas, and the defeat of Democrat Collin Peterson, three of the top four agriculture positions in Congress will have new representation.

Trump Declaring an Early Victory Problematic for Trade Partners

The overnight claim by President Donald Trump believing he ‘already won’ the election may pose a problem for U.S. North American trade partners. Votes were still being counted Wednesday with no definitive outcome, but Biden held a small advantage midday Wednesday. The cliff-hanger has the nation’s northern neighbor withholding comments on the outcome. A political expert told Canada’s national Globe and Mail Wednesday morning, “A big challenge for Canada now is that Trump wants to declare victory before all votes are counted, so will expect U.S. Allies to send him their congratulations.” The expert points out that the problem is for those who don’t offer early congratulations, Trump will “take this very personally and if he is elected, can be expected to be even more punitive on trade matters.” That, of course, depends on the outcome of the U.S. election. Most Canadian agriculture leaders agree former Vice President Joe Biden would be better for trade relations between the two countries.

Senate Control, Ag Committee Makeup, May be Decided in January

Control of the U.S. Senate may not be known until January and could further change the Senate Agriculture Committee’s makeup because of a runoff vote in Georgia. The runoff results from Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler being appointed earlier this year to take the seat of Republican Johnny Isakson ​(eye-zeck-son), who resigned at the end of 2019, citing health reasons. Republicans held a slight lead, 47-45, to control the Senate, but some races were still too close to call by midday Wednesday. Loeffler is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and is running to serve the remaining two years of Isakson’s term. Loeffler will face Democrat Raphael Warnock, who received 31 percent of the special election vote Tuesday, while Loeffler received 26 percent. To win Tuesday, a candidate must have received 50 percent of the vote. Returning members up for reelection to the Senate Agriculture Committee Include Republicans Mitch McConnell, Joni Ernst and Cindy Hyde-Smith. Returning Democrats include Tina Smith and Richard Durbin, assuming they return to the committee next year.

Mary Kay Thatcher: Rural America Needs Bipartisan Representation

A long-time leader in agriculture policy says rural America is going to need more Democrats in the future. Mary Kay Thatcher of Syngenta, who was a long-time policy expert at the American Farm Bureau Federation, says, “we don’t have very many democrats in the rural areas.” Only nine Democrats, prior to this election, held rural seats in the House. Thatcher made her comments to the Adams on Agriculture radio show Wednesday morning. She says, “We should be thankful we are not writing a farm bill this year.” There will be new leadership in three of the top four Congressional positions for agriculture. With the defeat of House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson, Thatcher says of the new leadership, “They probably just can’t be as effective right away.” Thatcher says agriculture needs a bipartisan representation, adding, “we’ve always been bipartisan, we need to be bipartisan, and we need Democrats and Republicans both that are willing to go to leadership and say this is important.”

NFU: Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement is “Shameful”

Following a night of waiting for election results, the National Farmers Union calls the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement “Shameful.” The United States formally exited the Paris Climate Agreement Wednesday, three-and-a-half years after President Donald Trump pledged to do so. National Farmers Union says 189 countries have ratified the historic agreement so far, which aims to keep “a global temperature rise this century well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.” That leaves just eight countries – including the United States – as outliers. A strong advocate for climate action, NFU expressed support for the deal when it was finalized at the end of 2015. NFU President Rob Larew stated, “Climate change is a global crisis, and it requires a united, global effort to address.” Larew says the decision “not only undermines critical climate action and makes our planet more vulnerable to increasingly frequent and severe weather extremes, but it also comes at great cost to the American people.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.