Plains Cotton Growers and Southern Southeastern Cotton Growers meet with the staff for Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA)
Three Days. 18 Congressional Visits, 16 Fundraisers. Roughly 35,000 Steps. PCG Goes to DC.
Plains Cotton Growers was busy this week, advocating for the Texas High Plains and state and national cotton industry interests in Washington D.C.
PCG CEO Kody Bessent brought the PCG officers — Brent Nelson, Martin Stoerner, Travis Mires and Brent Coker — to visit with Congressional members on the importance of averting a government shutdown, improving the farm safety net and passing a strong farm bill that will benefit producers and industry for the next five years.
Opinions from Congress on whether the government will shut down was a mixed bag. Some Senators and Representatives stated they didn’t feel it would get to that point, while others were emphatic that it would. PCG officers emphasized the implications for the cotton industry should that happen, speaking for producers, but also for the merchant segment as we near the harvest season.
Each officer had speaking points they discussed with members. Nelson spoke to the market loan rate and the need to raise the rate to accommodate for the rise in production costs. Stoerner emphasized the need to increase reference prices to address the same thing.
Mires stressed the importance of crop insurance for producers, saying, “We’d hate to lose any ground when it comes to crop insurance, and it would be great if we could strengthen it even more.”
Coker specifically addressed the need for a producer to have the ability to enroll in both the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program to further mitigate producer risk. “Adding this option to increase our access to risk management tools would greatly help us spread out our risk, while also accommodating the needs of the landowners from whom we lease the land,” he added.
Our officers took time off from their operations and busy family lives to advocate for agriculture, which doesn’t go unnoticed by government officials.
“It’s so important that we hear from you,” said Rep. Tracey Mann (R-KS) addressing PCG producers. “We can’t help you if we don’t know what your challenges are. Only you can give us the experience perspective.”
This was Coker’s first fly-in with the team. “It was eye-opening to see how involved the process is; how important communication and education is for these Representatives and Senators, but also the staffers,” he said. “It was a great experience and I was humbled to play a small part in the advocacy this week.”