Members of the American Soybean Association (ASA) have completed the organization’s annual resolutions process to set the tone and direction for policy advocacy in the weeks and months ahead.
As is typical with any “out with the old, in with the new” activity, the organization aims each year to build on sound existing resolutions by adapting where needed and supplementing with new resolutions to address emerging priorities. One such example of a soy priority on which the organization is focusing more this year is climate and conservation.
“Throughout this year’s document we recognize the role that climate and conservation will play in policy discussions in 2021, from thoughtfully addressing development of public and private ecosystem services markets to promoting precision agriculture technology as a tool to improve environmental stewardship while providing economic returns for growers,” said Kevin Scott, ASA president and soybean farmer from Valley Springs, South Dakota.
Changes and additions for 2021 run the full gamut. Among the approvals are resolutions supporting:
- Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) reauthorization
- A sufficiently-funded Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) account to ensure timely benefits to farmers
- A strong farm safety net and crop insurance program, including support for expanding double crop soybean coverage
- Federal efforts to boost precision ag technology availability and grower adoption
- Increased federal funding to provide conservation technical assistance to growers
- USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service’s definition of soil health
- Development of voluntary carbon markets that incentivize agricultural conservation
- Significant increases in rural infrastructure funding
- Changes to the traditional gas tax to reflect the increase in EVs/hybrids on the road to support the Federal Highway Trust Fund
- Identifying additional funding mechanisms for rural broadband investment and deployment
- Increased utilization of higher-blend biodiesel to lower emissions and improve air quality
- Reducing barriers and increasing access to improved genetics and crop protection tools that lead to improved environmental outcomes.
The ASA resolutions process has been a monthlong series of input from state delegates, ASA board members and other farmer-leaders and staff who serve on ASA’s advocacy teams covering the various soy policy areas. Recommendations are funneled from state members into resolution subcommittees, which then hone the language that is finally voted on by delegates. The process is conducted in multiple stages to allow ample input, revisions, and improvements from ASA membership across the soy states and culminates in the final voting process, held this year on Feb. 25.