By JOHN O'CONNELL
BOISE, Idaho -- About 14 growers and officials representing the Idaho Grain Producers Association and the Idaho Wheat Commission will travel to Washington, D.C., and lobby Congress to pass a permanent farm bill, said Travis Jones, IGPA executive director.
Jones said the primary purpose of the trip, scheduled Jan. 26-30, will be attending the winter meeting of the National Association of Wheat Growers, hosted in conjunction with U.S. Wheat Associates. But they'll also take the opportunity to express their disappointment with Congress for passing an extension of the 2008 farm bill to cover the next nine months rather than a permanent bill, Jones said.
Though Jones said the two grain organizations have several policy goals for a new farm bill, their sole lobbying focus will be to get one passed by the September deadline. He acknowledged the policies in the extension aren't much different than previous policies.
"We're just going to push for a long-term bill that doesn't leave us hanging every few months. We want something growers can count on and plan on for the long term," Jones said.