What is the Southwest Council of Agribusiness?
The Southwest Council is an alliance of agricultural organizations, financial institutions, and businesses, established to actively advocate for strong agricultural policy, which is vital to the businesses and economy of the greater Southwest area including Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, and Colorado.
What makes the SWCA different?
What makes the SWCA different is the marriage of business, community and farmer interests behind a common goal – that of promoting strong agricultural policy. This kind of coalition is rare, and it makes an immediate and favorable impression on decision-makers who are seeking to do the will of their constituency.
To represent and promote broad-based Agriculture and Business interests and increase economic opportunity in the Southwest region of the U.S. both now and for the future through the pursuit of good and stable agricultural policy, through information sharing and the building of relationships and alliances within the area, and through the promotion of value-added agribusiness and other enterprises that capture more of the wealth created from our land, water and other natural resources for the people and communities of the region.
- To bring diverse interests together to speak with one voice in support of strong U.S. farm policy.
- To build a powerful and active political base in and for the interests of the Southwest region of the United States.
- To provide a strong and lasting organization that leverages the talent and resources of its members to achieve the ideas set forth in our mission.
- To educate the public and policy makers about the value and importance of agriculture to our economy.
Public Outreach and Information Sharing
One of our main organizational goals is to educate the public and policy makers about the value and importance of agriculture to our economy. Our organization takes steps toward this goal by supporting an effort called Farm Policy Facts. Farm Policy Facts is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the non-agricultural population, as well as policymakers, on the necessity of farming to the American economy. To learn more visit their website at: http://www.farmpolicyfacts.org
- Work closely with Congress to achieve a favorable and comprehensive Farm Bill.
- Work closely with USDA on implementation issues of the 2014 Farm Bill.
- Vigorously defend the farm bill from those who might use the appropriations or budget process to attack it or otherwise undermine its effectiveness.
- Continue education efforts to convey the positive aspects of U.S. and southwest agriculture to policy makers and the general public.
- Strive to build relationships with other agricultural organizations and stakeholders from different regions so as to build strong political ties and alliances at the federal level.
- Be active politically and further establish the SWCA as a stable and lasting organization to serve agribusiness in this region of the United States.
- Continue to expand the membership and resource base of the SWCA.
- Support research to foster a dynamic agricultural industry that will meet the needs of the future.
- Be ready to develop consensus and action plans on policy issues impacting profitability in agriculture or having a significant effect on rural economies as needed.
Our History – What is the purpose and vision for the SWCA?
The idea behind the Southwest Council emanated from agricultural organizations encouraging businesses (lending institutions, implement dealers, auto dealers, etc.) to take a more active role in supporting producers through an alliance that would be an advocate for strong U.S. farm policy. Among those who gathered initially to form the Council, it was agreed that this should be a long-term effort focused on supporting policies that would be advantageous to the area’s agricultural-based economy well into the future.
Our Membership – Who can be involved?
Any business or agricultural producer group that is committed to promoting a strong agricultural economy is invited to be a member of the Southwest Council of Agribusiness.
The SWCA is represented in the nation’s capitol by Combest Sell & Associates (CS&A). CS&A is led by the former Chairman of both the House Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Agriculture, Larry Combest; Tom Sell, an attorney and former Deputy Chief of Staff to the House Committee on Agriculture; and Jeff Harrison, an attorney, former counsel to the House Committee on Agriculture and a senior U.S. Senate staffer. Along with CS&A, Jimmy Clark serves as the SWCA Executive Director. Jimmy is a farmer, and former District Director to Chairman Larry Combest and Congressman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX).