Conversations about the next farm bill, farm labor shortages and trade agreements echoed through the offices on Capitol Hill recently as more than 100 Texas Farm Bureau members, including Brady and Lisa Pendleton from Erath County, met with members of the U.S. Congress to talk about issues important to agriculture and Erath County.

“This trip is a great opportunity for Erath County residents to connect face-to-face with their elected officials,” Josh Ritchey, Erath County Farm Bureau president, said. “This helps elected officials understand an issue. When they talk about farm policies, we want them to think about how it will impact the people back home.”

During this year’s National Affairs Awards Trip, members discussed the next farm bill, the need for a reliable guest worker program, the importance of trade agreements to agriculture, regulatory reform and other issues facing agriculture and rural Texas.

Attendees met with their representatives in Congress, as well as Mike Conaway, chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, and Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.

“Going to Washington, D.C. right now as the farm bill is underway is an amazing opportunity, “ Ritchey said. “We hope this trip provides meaningful input to our legislators as they draft the new bill.”

Erath County Farm Bureau members earn their places on the National Affairs Awards Trip by meeting with local legislators and through other advocacy efforts throughout the year. The farmers and ranchers were in Washington, D.C. March 19-22.