By Carey Martin, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation
Louisiana's congressional delegation will hear directly from Louisiana farmers this week as a 40-member delegation will visit Capitol Hill to communicate their issues and concerns to their elected representatives.
The trip is organized by the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, and will include policy information sessions with the staff of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a visit with members of the Senate Agriculture Committee staff, a session with Louisiana Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy and in-office visits with each of Louisiana's six congressmen.
With new administration, a new senator and two new members of Congress, Louisiana farmers feel the time is right to bring their message to their elected leaders.
"If you don't voice your concerns and the wants and needs that you have, no one else will," said Avoyelles parish farmer Phillip Lamartiniere. "I think they want to hear from us, and I that's a good thing. How can we expect them to make changes if they don't know what changes need to be made."
Farm Bureau has an active congressional relations staff that has regular communication with each member of the Louisiana congressional delegation. However, the organization knows the power of the delegation hearing directly from farmers back home.
"We have a great staff in Baton Rouge and at the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington," said Louisiana Farm Bureau President Ronnie Anderson. "But there is no substitute for a Louisiana farmer sitting face-to-face with a congressman and telling them how laws and regulations affect their farms back in Louisiana."
The Farm Bureau delegation will be in Washington D.C. Monday through Wednesday.