2017 Annual Meeting Recap

Dear SWCA Member:

Thank you to all of you who were able to join us for the SWCA 2017 Annual Meeting in Lamesa, TX on September 22!

We had over 400 producers, lenders, and businessman in attendance.

As many of you know, the meeting had a remarkable lineup of panelists to discuss the economic and political landscape of agriculture and the challenges and opportunities ahead.

The panelists were followed by an extraordinary list of speakers including House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

If you were unable to attend the meeting, a brief summary of the panelists and speakers can be found below with links to their presentations.

Agricultural Economics in Perspective

Dr. Joe Outlaw, Co-Director, Agricultural and Food Policy Center, Texas A&M University:
Dr. Outlaw discussed the CBO budget baseline which impacts the Farm Bill rewrite, the future of commodity prices, Commodity Title details, and attacks upon U.S. farm policy. His presentation can be found here.

Dr. Darren Hudson, Director, International Center for Agribusiness Competitiveness, Texas Tech University:
Dr. Hudson outlined the current macroeconomic conditions of agriculture as well as market projections. Dr. Hudson also placed an emphasis on cotton specific policy issues. His presentation can be found here.

Agricultural Politics in Perspective

James Glueck, Staff Director, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Trevor White, Professional Staff, House Committee on Agriculture, Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX)
James Glueck and Trevor White both outlined the timeline they envision for the 2018 Farm Bill. Both talked about the importance of getting a Farm Bill done on time or even early, and are hoping for floor time at the end of the year or the beginning of the next year. Both men also highlighted budget issues. The agricultural economy has changed since the last Farm Bill, and both pointed out the importance of passing a new Farm Bill to take into account these changes.

Distinguished Guest Speakers

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) discussed the timeline for the 2018 Farm Bill. Chairman Conaway went on to say that he sees floor time available in the late fourth quarter or early first quarter for the 2018 Farm Bill. He also touched on the importance of bringing cotton back into Title I.

Secretary Sonny Perdue discussed the importance of Texas agriculture and the aid that will be needed to recover from Hurricane Harvey. Secretary Perdue stated he was intent on helping U.S. cotton farmers and he gave a full throated endorsement of Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s guest worker legislation so critical to many producers in the region and across the country.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) highlighted the economic difficulties that Texas farmers and ranchers are facing. Senator Cruz went on to say he would like Secretary Perdue to extend the cotton gin cost share program and to designate cotton seed as another oilseed qualifying the crop for ARC or PLC.

The three speakers finished the event by fielding questions from the audience on a multitude of issues and held a press session. The link to the press session can be found here.

During the business portion of the meeting Board of Directors elections were held. The following were elected or reelected to the Board:

Dave Cure –Colorado Corn Growers Association
Steve Verett –Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.
Keith Corzine –Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Association
David Cleavinger –Texas Wheat Producers Association
Tony Dill –Western Peanut Growers Association
Brian Snodgrass –South Plains Implement
Rick Boyd –First United Bank

For a complete list of the Board of Directors click here.

The Board of Directors also elected officers following the meeting, including:

President Matt Huie
Vice-President L.G. Raun
Vice-President David Cleavinger
Treasurer Steve Verett
Secretary Scott Averhoff

The Board concluded the meeting by scheduling a meeting to discuss issues for the upcoming Farm Bill on October 16 in Dallas, Texas.