Winning and Working: The KCGA Way
The past year brought many challenges our way but with help from our members we faced them head-on and had some big wins. But that doesn’t mean 2020 will be a nice paved road ahead, here’s a look at some of our 2019 policy wins and 2020 challenges that we look forward to working on.
In 2019, Kansas corn farmers welcomed the year-round sale of E15! This Summer driving season we saw increased E15 sales by over 40% compared to 2018 at gas stations we have partnered with. In fact, the top performing stations we have worked with have averaged 60% year over year ethanol sales growth since 2016.
After much press and uncertainty, it appears that early 2020 will ring in a ratified US Mexico Canada (USMCA) agreement and President Trump signed the US-Japan trade agreement in September lowering tariffs on US Agriculture products by $ 7 Billion. KCGA leaders and staff have met one-on-one with Chief Agriculture Negotiator Gregg Doud and his staff on multiple occasions in 2019, making sure our voices were heard. KCGA staff and leaders had dozens of meetings with members of the House of Representatives from across the country to ensure they knew how vital trade is to our industry.
Implementation of the 2018 farm bill began last winter. Congressional and USDA staff reached out to KCGA staff on multiple occasions asking for feedback on how to make Farm Bill programs better for Kansas farmers and KCGA staff reached out as needed to inform them of issues.
At the state level, KCGA strongly supported efforts to decrease health care costs for farm families and rural residents. KCGA staff also provided education and outreach to all legislators to ensure that agriculture is treated fairly with respect to income and property taxes.
2020 Legislative and Regulatory Priorities
- Ethanol – retain the RFS, and reduce regulatory barriers for higher blends
- Trade – expand new and protect existing bilateral and multilateral trade agreements
- Transportation – Maintain and upgrade infrastructure vital to the movement of agricultural products and maintain agricultural transportation regulation exemptions.
- Ethanol – KCGA is at the forefront talking to Kansas Department of Health and Environment staff and members of the Kelly Administration about the importance of allowing year-round E15 sales in the KC metro area.
- Water – Ensure agricultural producers are treated fairly in all ongoing water issues across the state including the Quivira Wildlife Impairment, Hays R9 Water transfer and nutrient reduction efforts.
- Livestock – Support industry partners in legislation that provides transparency in labels on plant based meat products
- Taxes – Maintain current property and income tax calculations and exemptions. We continue to advocate that agriculture receives no more exemptions than any industry in the state, so efforts to single agricultural exemptions out are unfounded.