In the State of the Union address Tuesday night National Corn Growers Association Vice President of Public Policy Jon Doggett says President Barack Obama touched on the overarching themes that most Americans are focused on today. So while there were no direct references to goals for U.S. agriculture Doggett says the speech definitely had something to do with American agriculture.
"What the President did was talk about the kind of issues that will be facing agriculture, no matter what part of agriculture you are involved in," Doggett said. "It revolves around the budget, it revolves around investment and infrastructure and it revolves around what's going to happen with our economy."
Doggett says the nation's corn growers were pleased with the President's message on trade.
"A very strong commitment to move quickly on the Korean free trade agreement and a promise to move forward on the Panama and Colombian free trade agreements; very important agreements for agriculture," Doggett said. ". It would appear that the Administration is going to move them one at a time, but I think it is going to one of those things where we are going to have to support all three and work very hard to make sure all three are successful."
NCGA will also try to get more detail on the President's comments on infrastructure. Doggett says they had hoped to hear something specific on the projects included in the Water Resources Development Act, however President Obama spoke in rather broad themes. NCGA does plan to follow up with Administration officials to get a clearer picture of what those investments will look like.
Doggett says 24 growers are in D.C. this week for NCGA's Leadership Academy and they visited Capitol Hill ahead of the President's speech Tuesday. Not only did they come away from those meetings excited to be involved, but Doggett says they saw the importance of being involved in the nation's capital.
"We have in Washington, D.C. a lot of new people on Capitol Hill," Doggett said. "And our growers are a great team to go up there and help educate those folks who are going to be making decisions that are important to family farmers."