Dr. Boozman's Check-up
Aug 26 2015
Since my election to the Senate five years ago, I have spent time during each August visiting with Arkansas’s farmers, ranchers and industry leaders during my annual agriculture tour.
This year’s tour was extremely beneficial as there are a lot of important issues facing the agriculture community that Arkansas producers were eager to discuss.
- Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule: Arkansas farmers, ranchers and private landowners are rightfully concerned about this tremendous overreach that threatens their ability to use their property. This rule will raise costs without providing clean water benefits, take control away from states and increase uncertainty all while causing project delays as Arkansans try to figure out where this EPA power-grab applies.
- School Nutrition: Discussions about school lunch programs and nutrition were particularly timely as the Agriculture Committee is set to consider legislation reauthorizing child nutrition programs when the Senate reconvenes in September. Prior to the adjournment of the Senate for the August in-state work period, I introduced the Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act, legislation to make federal child nutrition programs more efficient and flexible to reach children in need during the summer months when school meals are not available. I will be working to get his bill included with the larger reauthorization.
- Country of Origin Labeling: I’ve long opposed the COOL mandate because it alienates our trading partners, increases compliance costs, and offers few benefits. The World Trade Organization once again ruled against the U.S. in this dispute. We’ve seen the decisions against this mandate four times now, and if we don’t get it fixed, this could impact the economy in a very negative way.
Thanks again to everyone who took the time to show me their operations and share their concerns about agriculture-related issues during this year’s tour. It is my hope that by the time next year’s tour rolls around, we will have quashed the misguided WOTUS rule, reauthorized the child nutrition law and settled the labeling dispute.