Texas Agriculture July 1, 2016 : Page 6

Connecting with Cornyn U.S. senator visits Boening’s farm, dairy By Jessica Domel News Editor When he stepped out of the truck, it was clear U.S. Senator John Cornyn hasn’t lost his Lone Star roots. He’s wearing blue jeans, a cowboy hat and boots for his afternoon tour of a family farm. Cornyn and his staff recently stopped by Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) President Russell Boening’s family farm and dairy near Poth to see the operation and discuss issues impor-tant to Texas agriculture. “One of the first things we men-tioned was trade. We know trade has been a big issue for Farm Bureau and agriculture in Texas and across the country,” Boening said. “Then we talk-ed about other things like immigra-tion reform. Even though we weren’t harvesting watermelons, I was able to explain to him the amount of labor that it takes to do that.” Cornyn and Boening also talked about the need for a guest worker program, the reining in of the Envi-ronmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other issues while looking at Boe-ning’s corn, silage, cotton, cattle and watermelons. “It’s always good to come out and learn a little bit more about the chal-lenges our farmers and ranchers have here in Texas,” Cornyn said. “This year, there’s been quite a bit of rain, and that presents its own challenges. I learned a little more about things like diversification of crops. I’m not a farmer or rancher by trade or train-ing, so it’s good to come out and learn from the experts.” Cornyn, too, lent his expertise. He and Boening discussed the difficulty in discussing trade and other topics so close to a presidential election. “Unfortunately with the politics of 2016, it seems like trade is getting a bad name,” Cornyn said. “It’s always good, in my book, to have markets regulatory footprint along with a tax to sell the things we raise, grow and policy and trade policy that will help make in America to markets around promote economic growth.” Texas and American agriculture the world.” Although there are obstacles feed the state and country, which is and anti-trade sentiment, it doesn’t something Cornyn believes many mean we should give up, according to take for granted. “It’s a lot of hard work,” Cornyn Cornyn. “It makes it more important for said. “There’s a lot of moving parts those of us who believe in the benefits from getting the workforce you need of trade to educate those who do not to land prices to dealing with the reg-know because when people are hurt-ulatory agencies, dealing with the ups ing, they feel like their wages have and downs of the market and things been flat or the economy is not grow-like fuel prices. It’s a lot more compli-ing or it’s hard to find work. It’s easy cated than I think most people will for people to say, ‘The reason you can’t appreciate.” Cornyn also noted how important a find work or the reason your wages are flat is because there are other reliable, skilled workforce is to Texas people taking your jobs,’” Cornyn said. farmers and ranchers. He said some-“The truth is, trade creates jobs thing needs to be done to immigration and helps grow the economy. There’s policies. “We don’t have the labor force that no better example of that than Texas.” Federal overreach, and how that we need, particularly on tough, back-can affect the Lone Star State, was breaking work like what is done on our farms and ranches,” Cornyn said. also discussed. “With things like Waters of the U.S., “That’s not what a lot of our young the fact is the federal government’s people aspire to. Coming out of high tentacles are reaching everywhere,” school, they want to go to college, they want to maybe get a nice, air-condi-Cornyn said. That overreach isn’t based on a tioned job in a place that doesn’t in-need or trying to find a solution to a volve a lot of hard, manual labor.” Part of the problem in getting real problem, according to Cornyn, but immigration reform has been the rather, it is ideological. “It’s the idea that everything good president, according to Cornyn. “When people like me asked him, and smart emanates from Washing-ton, D.C.,” Cornyn said. “The truth is, ‘Will you please work with us so we that’s not the truth. There’s nobody can come up with a reasonable policy who is going to be a better steward like a guest worker program?,’ he basi-of the land than the people who work cally said, ‘Well, I’m going to do it my-with that land for a living. We ought self,’” Cornyn said. “Then you get the to rely more on the true experts than overreach of these executive orders the beltway experts to tell us what our which are now sitting in the Supreme Court of the United States. It poisons policies should be.” He said going against the presiden-the well because people don’t have the tial administration is difficult because Congress has limited tools to undercut the adminis-tration. “These are policies promul-gated by his administrative agencies,” Cornyn said. “One of the things I think at stake in this election is whether we’ll have a president who contin-ues those sorts of policies and overreach or whether we have somebody who actually be-Russell Boening, Sen. John Cornyn, Kenneth Boening and Scott Boening stop for a group lieves we need a more modest photo on the tour. 6 J ULY 1 , 2016

Connecting with Cornyn

Jessica Domel

U.S. senator visits Boening’s farm, dairy

When he stepped out of the truck, it was clear U.S. Senator John Cornyn hasn’t lost his Lone Star roots. He’s wearing blue jeans, a cowboy hat and boots for his afternoon tour of a family farm.

Cornyn and his staff recently stopped by Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) President Russell Boening’s family farm and dairy near Poth to see the operation and discuss issues important to Texas agriculture.

“One of the first things we mentioned was trade. We know trade has been a big issue for Farm Bureau and agriculture in Texas and across the country,” Boening said. “Then we talked about other things like immigration reform. Even though we weren’t harvesting watermelons, I was able to explain to him the amount of labor that it takes to do that.”

Cornyn and Boening also talked about the need for a guest worker program, the reining in of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other issues while looking at Boening’s corn, silage, cotton, cattle and watermelons.

“It’s always good to come out and learn a little bit more about the challenges our farmers and ranchers have here in Texas,” Cornyn said. “This year, there’s been quite a bit of rain, and that presents its own challenges. I learned a little more about things like diversification of crops. I’m not a farmer or rancher by trade or training, so it’s good to come out and learn from the experts.”

Cornyn, too, lent his expertise. He and Boening discussed the difficulty in discussing trade and other topics so close to a presidential election.

“Unfortunately with the politics of 2016, it seems like trade is getting a bad name,” Cornyn said. “It’s always good, in my book, to have markets to sell the things we raise, grow and make in America to markets around the world.”

Although there are obstacles and anti-trade sentiment, it doesn’t mean we should give up, according to Cornyn.

“It makes it more important for those of us who believe in the benefits of trade to educate those who do not know because when people are hurting, they feel like their wages have been flat or the economy is not growing or it’s hard to find work. It’s easy for people to say, ‘The reason you can’t find work or the reason your wages are flat is because there are other people taking your jobs,’” Cornyn said.

“The truth is, trade creates jobs and helps grow the economy. There’s no better example of that than Texas.”

Federal overreach, and how that can affect the Lone Star State, was also discussed.

“With things like Waters of the U.S., the fact is the federal government’s tentacles are reaching everywhere,” Cornyn said.

That overreach isn’t based on a need or trying to find a solution to a problem, according to Cornyn, but rather, it is ideological.

“It’s the idea that everything good and smart emanates from Washington, D.C.,” Cornyn said. “The truth is, that’s not the truth. There’s nobody who is going to be a better steward of the land than the people who work with that land for a living. We ought to rely more on the true experts than the beltway experts to tell us what our policies should be.”

He said going against the presidential administration is difficult because Congress has limited tools to undercut the administration.

“These are policies promulgated by his administrative agencies,” Cornyn said. “One of the things I think at stake in this election is whether we’ll have a president who continues those sorts of policies and overreach or whether we have somebody who actually believes we need a more modest regulatory footprint along with a tax policy and trade policy that will help promote economic growth.”

Texas and American agriculture feed the state and country, which is something Cornyn believes many take for granted.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” Cornyn said. “There’s a lot of moving parts from getting the workforce you need to land prices to dealing with the regulatory agencies, dealing with the ups and downs of the market and things like fuel prices. It’s a lot more complicated than I think most people will appreciate.”

Cornyn also noted how important a reliable, skilled workforce is to Texas farmers and ranchers. He said something needs to be done to immigration policies.

“We don’t have the labor force that we need, particularly on tough, backbreaking work like what is done on our farms and ranches,” Cornyn said. “That’s not what a lot of our young people aspire to. Coming out of high school, they want to go to college, they want to maybe get a nice, air-conditioned job in a place that doesn’t involve a lot of hard, manual labor.”

Part of the problem in getting real immigration reform has been the president, according to Cornyn.

“When people like me asked him, ‘Will you please work with us so we can come up with a reasonable policy like a guest worker program?,’ he basically said, ‘Well, I’m going to do it myself,’” Cornyn said. “Then you get the overreach of these executive orders which are now sitting in the Supreme Court of the United States. It poisons the well because people don’t have the confidence that even if we pass new immigration laws that this administration would administer those in a way we would have confidence in.”

Following the visit, Cornyn expressed his appreciation to both TFB and the Boenings for discussing important issues with him.

Boening said he felt like he received good feedback from the senator that will only strengthen the relationship TFB has with Cornyn and his staff.

“I think it provides an opportunity to actually see there’s people behind all of this stuff we call agriculture. When we’re talking about cotton prices being so low, that doesn’t affect cotton. That affects people. They see the people who are actually doing it. I think that’s very important,” Boening said.

Seeing the farm and dairy firsthand conveys a more powerful message, Boening said, than just hearing that cotton farmers or dairy farmers are having a tough time.

“Whatever commodity we’re talking about, I think if they see the people behind it, it makes it personal to show that real people are being affected,” Boening said.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Connecting+with+Cornyn/2522417/316898/article.html.

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