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Volume 7, Issue 4  -  November, 2001

President Reports AAM’s Activities for 2001

As my first year as the President of the American Agriculture Movement draws near, I thought that I might run through some of this year’s activities.   Right after the AAM Convention of 2001, we met with Commissioner of Agriculture of Texas, Susan Combs, in Austin.   Included in this meeting were Russell Grider, Ed Petrowsky, Gene Schroder of the Four Farmers Lawsuit and Rick Clem and Benny Pope from Texas.  The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the AAA of 1933 and seek the Texas Department of Agriculture support of the lawsuit.  From Austin we traveled to San Antonio, Texas where we spoke to the American Corn Growers Convention.  In March, following the Corn Growers Convention, we attended the Alliance for Rural America Conference in Washington, D.C.  The Alliance focuses on energy issues as they relate to rural communities and farm life.  While in D.C., the entire delegation was able to meet with Secretary Ann Veneman and her Chief of Staff, Dale Moore.  We had a long visit with both the Secretary and Dale and were able to have pictures taken  with the Secretary.

We placed copies of the Agriculture Adjustment Act (AAA) of 1933 laws in the hands of every Senator and Congressman while in D.C.  We also had a meeting with the House Agriculture Committee staff as well as several meetings with staff people from our areas and key individuals on farm legislation and energy issues.

During the year AAM helped sponsor meetings for Gene Schroder to present and explain the AAA of 1933 and the situation with the Four Farmer  Suit.

We had a National Delegates Meeting in Wichita, KS in August which was attended by a good cross section of the  member states. AAM has been very active in opposition of the fast track legislation and we are working with several coalitions in D.C. to stop this legislation from passing.

In September, we attended the Rural Summit in Lubbock, TX sponsored by Texas A & M and the Extension Service.  There Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman spoke as well as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Susan Combs.  This was mostly a political event promoting the farm bill just passed by the Ag Committee.

AAM received a good write- up in the Southwest Farm Press for some of the activities and demonstration while at the Summit.

AAM joins most of the progressive farm groups in calling the Combest-Stenholm farm bill way short of restoring sustainable income to our farms and ranches.  The house version has been nicknamed the Texas Tornado because of the way it stormed through the Ag Committee and then the full House.

In November, we will be attending the  National Farm Broadcasters Convention where all present will spread out among the ag media and talk on ag issues and the AAA of 1933. 

The year has been very unstable you might say as far as agriculture legislation and other rural issues.  With the Senate changing leadership in June, just when the Republicans were headed for fast track legislation, to the events of September 11,  D.C. has been in mass confusion.   We do not look  for much in the way of agriculture legislation to come out of Congress this year.  Next year will be another story with elections  lurking on the  horizon.

We are going to have a good Convention.  I am personally inviting each and every member to plan on attending the Annual Convention scheduled in January at the Biltmore Hotel in Oklahoma City.

  Hope to see you in Kansas City and Oklahoma City!

Buddy Vance

AAM National President



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