Every year the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants executive board takes a special treat to Washington, D.C. The 2018 visit marked the 21st annual Crawfish Boil on the Hill. Of the 40 years the NAICC has existed, the Executive Board has met in Washington every year for the past 25 years.
Most of our membership have heard about it, but do you really know what goes into this trip and why we do it? We do it so that you and your customers can do what you do best – provide safe food and fiber to the nation. Without someone monitoring the laws and regulations that affect agriculture, our jobs would be much more difficult.
While NAICC is small, our voice is respected in Washington. Our key topics for this year’s Hill visits included: Worker Protection Standard (WPS), Bt refuge, Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA), and resistance management.
After two days canvassing Capitol Hill, the NAICC Executive Board members, Governmental Affairs Committee members, the NAICC Leadership Program participants, NAICC Executive Vice President Allison Jones, and Legislative Assistant Glenn Luedke were host to nearly 300 attendees, including current and previous Congressmen, House and Senate staffers, IR-4 representatives, and many other friends from the agricultural community.
This was my fifth trip to Washington with the Executive Board, and I continue to be amazed every year at the relationships that can be built by a small organization such as ours. Because of our visits over the years, both EPA and USDA have contacted the NAICC headquarters numerous times for data, information, and clarification on issues relating to our members’ businesses. They reach out for a “boots on the ground” perspective. They respect our independence and realize the benefit to hearing many voices through one contact.
The NAICC has a good reputation in DC and developed beneficial working partnerships with many of the organizations headquartered there.
Thanks to everyone who worked hard to make this year’s event possible, including our good friend Tim Ford with EarthScience Labs and his daughter, Megan. They not only cooked the delicious crawfish etouffee and red beans and rice, but also welcomed and entertained our guests. I also want to House Ag Committee staffers stopped by for some crawfish. Glenn Luedke and Ray Young, two of NAICC’s go-to guys for DC information. I want to personally thank our Sustaining Members who met with us to provide updates on what their companies are working with in Washington. Burleson Smith with BASF, Tom Tomanelli with Bayer, and Mike Harper and Mike Seyfert from FMC are great allies and assisted us as we prepared for Hill visits.
So why do we spend our energy in DC? Because the NAICC has a voice and a talented pool of members who can make a difference in the laws and regulations that affect us and the industries we serve.
Source: Nathan Goldschmidt, President NAICC