NCBA CLUSA President & CEO Michael Beall sent a letter to the principal negotiators of the Farm Bill asking that language critical for cooperatives remain in any final version, which is expected to be finalized shortly by Congress. Creating an Interagency Working Group as the Senate version of the Farm Bill calls for would, “give USDA the authority to form and chair an interagency working group to ensure better coordination among those engaged in cooperative efforts. The cooperative community is comprised of businesses in many sectors, many of which are involved with numerous federal government departments and agencies. This working group would help coordinate those efforts collectively and lead to greater efficiencies across all federal agencies as well as enhance relationships with national and local cooperative organizations”, stated Beall in the letter.
NCBA CLUSA has recently met with and continues to work closely with USDA’s Office for Rural Development on this important provision and offered our full support to work with them on planning should this remain in the final farm bill. The full text of the letter can be found here.