American Farm Bureau continues to monitor railroad negotiations

Agricultural groups including American Farm Bureau are closely watching railroad negotiations as the deadline to avert a national strike approaches.

Andrew Walmsley is a senior director of government affairs with American Farm Bureau.

“The rail network is critically important not only to the economy but to American agriculture, especially as we head into harvest season,” he says. “Not taking sides one way or the other, we just need Congress to step in if there is a strike or lockout to ensure our railways are moving the goods that we need them to move.”

Railroads and rail labor have until Friday to reach an agreement to prevent a lockout or strike after the Presidential Emergency Board published a proposed settlement in August.

AFBF Vice President of Public Policy Sam Kieffer says a strike would worsen existing supply chain issues.

“We already have a supply chain problem, a strike of rail workers would exacerbate it and any improvements we’ve made in rail or logistics generally over the last 7-8 months would be all for naught,” he says. “We will go backwards in our capabilities of delivering goods and services and products all across the country.

Walmsley says farmers should contact lawmakers.

“Farmers and ranchers here in town or back home need to be letting their members of Congress know that Congress can step in and they can either force an agreement on what the Presidential Emergency Board recommended or they can extend the talks,” he says.

Walmsley and Kieffer provided an American Farm Bureau Issue Briefing during the Ohio Farm Bureau Washington D.C. Leadership Experience.

Ohio Farm Bureau’s farmer leaders including county presidents, young agricultural professionals, and AgriPOWER Class XIII members are in Washington, D.C. through Thursday.

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