NGFA’s Gordon on COVID, consumers, ag policy
The retiring President of the National Grain and Feed Association says he believes the COVID pandemic has renewed the consumer’s appreciation for agriculture. Randy Gordon says there is still more educational work to do. “I think the American people have a renewed sense of the importance of agriculture in food production, and the distribution system that makes that possible. We’ve got a long way to go, I think, in truly educating the consumer about how our industry operates and how the food distribution system works.”
And Gordon says from a policy standpoint, he expects recent events will help keep agriculture interests and food assistance programs together in future farm bills. “I know there were some Members of Congress several years ago that tried to break that link. That would not be a wise move.”
Gordon says there might be more of a focus on the consumer side under a Biden administration, but he is reassured about the return of Tom Vilsack as Ag Secretary, who he says has grown on issues like trade. “He changed. I’ll give him a lot of credit. He really grew in his understanding of agriculture while at USDA, and I think particularly on the trade side. That has only accelerated given his commercial career with the Dairy Export Council.”
Gordon is stepping down after nearly 43 years in March when Michael Seyfert takes over.
Gordon made his comments during the Wisconsin Agribusiness Classic.