On Monday several farmers, researchers, and agricultural industry leaders had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with Congressman Lynn Westmoreland of the 3rd congressional district of Georgia. Congressman Westmoreland’s day included a stop at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus where he visited with scientists who perform agricultural research. He learned about the various ways that UGA helps farmers through their research and extension programs.
Since Georgia has a very vast and diverse vegetable industry, Congressman Westmoreland visited Lewis Taylor Farms in Tift County where he received an industry update from vegetable farmer Bill Brim. While in Tift County, the Congressman was also able to visit the Georgia Peanut Commission’s headquarters where he visited with several peanut growers and industry leaders. Lastly, the Congressman visited with the Georgia Cotton Commission at the farm of board member Bart Davis in Colquitt County. Mr. Davis, who also is a peanut, corn, and cattle farmer, explained some of the difficulties facing row crop farmers in 2015. The Congressman, having traveled the state, was very aware of the current situation being faced by farmers across Georgia. Mr. Davis thanked Congressman Westmoreland for co-sponsoring a new bill that would amend the U.S. Cotton Futures Act. This bill would amend the current law, which states that all cotton listed on a U.S. futures contract be sampled and graded by USDA, to allow flexibility in handling foreign grown cotton and foreign delivery points for U.S. cotton. As many cotton farmers know, well over half of the U.S. cotton crop is exported. If this bill becomes law, it would allow for a new world cotton contract that the U.S. cotton industry could use to help hedge against market risk.
Below: Georgia farmer Bart Davis discusses some industry challenges with Congressman Lynn Westmoreland and other leaders in the agricultural industry.