January 26, 2017
A five-minute summary of AAI, regulation, and industry activities for members of the largest state agribusiness association in the nation.
In This Issue
AAI Holds Legislative Breakfast At Capitol to Greet Iowa Legislators
Left to right: Mark Morrissey, United Services Association, Steve Meyerholz, Stutsman, Matt Caswell, AGP, Paul Poister, Agrium, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Joel Brinkmeyer, AAI, Dave Tierney, Monsanto, Gary Peter, West Central Distribution, Scott Stabbe, Key Coop
The Annual AAI Legislative Breakfast was held Tuesday, January 24 at 7:30 AM at the capitol building. This event gives the AAI membership and the board of directors the opportunity to speak with Iowa Legislators, introduce themselves and AAI to newly instated legislators, and give AAI members a voice at capitol hill. 

INREC board member Paul Poister, Agrium and AAI Chair-Elect Mark Morrssiey, United Services Association speak with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey during the AAI Legislative Breakfast on Jan 24, 2017. 

Ruling Expected on Iowa Laws in Water Works Lawsuit

The Iowa Supreme Court is expected to file a ruling in the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit on Friday, January 27, 2017. The ruling is in response to oral arguments heard last September on four parts of the federal lawsuit that deal with Iowa law. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa certified the questions to the Iowa Supreme Court last January.

AAI will send out a response to the ruling once the outcome is known. The full ruling will be posted on the Iowa Supreme Court website here.

AAI Signs on to NGFA Letters

AAI has signed on to support letters being submitted by NGFA and other agriculture groups to Congress and the President.

A letter encouraging the President to provide federal funding for the improvement of infrastructure related to agriculture, including roads and locks and dams, will be sent next week. AAI will be a signatory on this communication to the White House.

Additionally, a letter will be sent to the Senate encouraging swift action to approve the nomination of Sonny Perdue as the next Secretary of Agriculture. The US is currently without an ag secretary and resolution of the vacancy is important to the smooth functioning of government and agriculture in the US. AAI is also a signatory on this letter which is being sent to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow.

AAI Attends AGP Meeting in Omaha

On January 19-20, 2017, CEO Joel Brinkmeyer and Membership Director Reilly Vaughan attended the AGP annual meeting in Omaha, NE. AGP has been a long time member with the association. AAI's display during the meeting provided an opportunity to  interact with many of our coop members. The meeting gave AAI leadership the  chance to talk about AAI's accomplishments and our future goals with attendees. 

Agronomy Committee Meeting 

On January 23, 2017 the Agronomy Committee met at the AAI headquarters in Des Moines. Shawn Richmond, AAI Environmental Technology Director, gave an update on the Iowa Nutrient Education & Research Council. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and IDALS Fertilizer Bureau Chief Neal Vaughn discussed Chapter 200a and potential applicator penalties. 

The Agronomy Committee wants to extend their gratitude for IDALS working with AAI grassroots committees. The diligence to keep a solid relationship on important ag industry issues is appreciated. 

Richmond Speaks at Growmark Meeting 

On January 25, 2017, Shawn Richmond, AAI Environmental Technology Director, spoke at a meeting hosted by Growmark in Bloomington, IL. Richmond gave an update regarding the status of water quality in Iowa, the public opinion on water quality and agriculture. Richmond also spoke on the Iowa Nutrient Research & Education Council (INREC) and the current Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit. Richmond spoke to a crowd of around 400 attendees at the meeting.

Soil Districts Highlight Iowa Conservation Efforts
by: Iowa Farmer Today

While Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey shook hands and asked questions, a few Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) commissioners took the opportunity to promote their work in the rotunda of the capitol building last week as part of their annual Conservation Partnership Day.

It was a chance for those commissioners to remind lawmakers that water quality and conservation are important issues in Iowa and that finding a way to channel more money toward those causes should be a priority.

"We need funding," said Alex Schafbuch, a commissioner from Tama County. [...] read more

Q&A With Iowa State's John Lawrence

John Lawrence has been helping farmers and future farmers his whole career. The former professor of economics, director of the Iowa Beef Center, and assistant director of the Experiment Station is now associate dean for Extension in Iowa State University's College of Agriculture (among other roles). Lawrence has a practical and realistic view of the current farm economic situation. Here is his take [...] read more.

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