Fresh from a successful trip to Washington D.C. during a week in which Arizonans could claim more snowfall than back East in many places, Arizona Farm Bureau President and rancher Stefanie Smallhouse plans to keep our issues moving even beyond the halls of Congress. Smallhouse and a farm and ranch delegation from Arizona met with administration officials at the White House and Congressional representatives to advance the cause of agriculture in our state. One top issue? Free trade and the USMCA deal.

“The Arizona Farm Bureau is proud to stand in support of the USMCA,” said Smallhouse who ranches with her husband, Andy, in Pima County. “Mexico and Canada are the two largest export markets for Arizona agriculture. The USMCA will protect and enhance the market gains we have made in these countries in several important ways. First, it expands market access for our dairy and egg producers and preserves the tariff-free market access established in NAFTA. It also creates a more fair-trading environment with Canada for our wheat growers and establishes a non-discriminatory grading process for our products with Mexico. The enhanced science-based trading standards will ensure our farmers and ranchers are not punished for ingenuity and efficiency.”


Spring 2019 Arizona Farm Bureau delegation: Jack Mann with cowboy hat (President Pima County Farm Bureau, rancher, and farmer), Catherine Mann (Arizona Farm Bureau Women's Leadership Chair, rancher and farmer), Arizona Farm Bureau CEO Philip Bashaw (far left on the second row), Selwyn Justice (Citrus and cattle), John Boelts (Arizona Farm Bureau Second Vice President and Yuma produce farmer, on the third row), Marcos Moore (Owner of Yuma-based Moore Ag Logistics, on third row), Alicia Boelts (Yuma produce farmer, on the fourth row), Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse (rancher and farmer), Sonia Gasho (Cochise County Farm Bureau Vice President and rancher), Therese Hicks (rancher, bottom row), Arizona Farm Bureau Government Relations Manager Tyler Davis (bottom row, right)

When Smallhouse and the Arizona Farm Bureau delegation met with White House staff the main discussion was on free trade and the USMCA deal. They highlighted that without international trade our international agriculture markets will continue to suffer.

Added Smallhouse, “In this depressed farm economy, expanding markets is more important than ever to preserve the success of Arizona’s $23.3 billion agricultural industry. As a result, we urge our elected officials to put aside political maneuvering and get this trade agreement approved! In the face of so many other challenges, farmers and ranchers are counting on Congress to provide certainty for a brighter future with this better deal.”

Arizona Farm Bureau sends a farmer and rancher delegation to Washington D.C. twice a year. Those who can go are made up of Arizona Farm Bureau's member leaders from all over the state and covering all types of agriculture including ranching, farming, and dairy farms. 

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