President Reports AAM’s Activities for
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
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
AAM National President