Far West Conference

Far West Conference

Far West Conference. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.


Daren Coppock was this years keynote speaker at the annual Far West Agribusiness Conference held in Pasco, Washington. Coppock is the President and CEO for the Agricultural Retailers Association and spent some time talking about how Capitol Hill may be affecting agriculture in the next year.


COPPOCK: We represent about 6500 agronomy outlets. Our members are those who sell supplies to farmers. So companies that sell seed, fertilizer, chemicals, fuel, services, any of those things that are retailers to farmers are potential members of the Ag Retailers Association. And so let’s talk a little bit about what happened in November. I don’t think that it’s any big secret to you that there was a big pendulum swing in stat houses, in governors, in the House and in the Senate.


He says that this will affect government for most of the next 10 years. Due to the majority of governors now being Republican Coppock says the big issue will be redistricting.


COPPOCK: We’ll start to redraw all those congressional maps based on the census data and so those districts will be in place for the next 10 years and will impact how the local elections work and who gets sent to Congress from those districts over the next 10 years. If you look at the Senate, the Democrats were at a 60 vote majority until Scott Brown was elected in Massachusetts. Now after this one you see 43 returning Republicans and 6 additionals that were gained.


Coppock points out that the balance in the Senate is now 53 Democrats to 47 Republicans.


COPPOCK: If no majority can force 60 votes, then they have to compromise and that’s where some of the real business can get done as w saw recently with the tax extender bill, hopefully with some other things we’ll see some compromise and bi-partisanship. More interestingly is the next Senate election cycle in 2012, Democrats are defending twice as many seats as Republican’s are. And so depending on what happens with the economy, with a number of other issues over the next two years, there could be even further change in the make up of the Senate in 2012.


And he takes a quick look at the House.


COPPOCK: In the House you saw the biggest swing from one party to the other since World War 2. A net gain of 63 seats for House Republican’s. If you add the existing seats plus the gains together it’s 242 for the House Republicans.


More on Monday.


That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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