ASGA Executive Vice President Outlines Priority Areas for the Coming Year
The Agricultural Act of 2014 was signed into law by President Obama on February 7, bringing to conclusion the overdrawn, exhaustive process that actually began back in 2010 with the first U.S. House Agricultural Committee hearings. Fittingly, the American Sugarbeet Growers Association Board of Directors was gathered in Tampa, Fla., on that signing day, in advance of the ASGA annual meeting, and as a group viewed the signing live on C-Span.
So how long will ASGA sit back and relax now that the new farm bill has been signed into law? A more-accurate phrasing of that question would be: How long did ASGA sit back and relax? The answer: about one week. As ASGA members mingled in Tampa during their 2014 annual meeting, appointments were already being made to meet with members of Congress and their staffs. Association leaders were back in D.C. in mid-February, thanking House and Senate members for their support of sugar in the new farm bill and simultaneously working to ensure none of the sugar provisions would be jeopardized during the appropriations phase.
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The sun hid out for part of the week, but for sugarbeet growers visiting from places like Michigan and the Red River Valley, early February in San Diego still provided a warm respite.
About 360 beet growers, spouses and affiliated industry traveled to southern California for the 2013 annual meeting of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association. Along with a lot of one-on-one conversation, they also listened to speakers addressing several timely topics of importance to the nation’s sugar industry.
ASGA’s 2014 annual meeting is scheduled to take place February 9-11 in Tampa, Fla.
Luther Markwart focused on “take home” messages in his summary remarks toward the conclusion of this year’s American Sugarbeet Growers Association annual meeting. “What do we tell our growers? What do we do as leaders of this industry?” ASGA’s longtime executive vice president asked the local and regional grower association leaders in attendance.
Don Lilleboe is editor of 'The Sugarbeet Grower' and 'Gilmore Sugar Manual.'