Wilton soybean grower urges policy action in Washington, D.C.
Ankeny, IA – Iowa Soybean Association Treasurer Dave Walton of Wilton was elected this week to serve on the board of directors for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).
The soybean, corn and cattle producer is a strong advocate for agriculture and the biodiesel industry.
“It’s quite an honor to serve on the governing board of this diverse group,” said Walton. “It’s humbling to be elected and to have the support of farmers and industry leaders.”
In addition to accepting his new role during NBB meetings in Washington, D.C., Walton joined approximately 150 biodiesel stakeholders in meetings with Iowa’s congressional representatives who remain supportive of the renewable fuel. The delegation met with elected officials, urging congressional action on several issues including approval of the biodiesel tax credit. “We have to have this tax credit done by Dec. 20 when they go on recess or it’s probably not going to happen,” he said. “Some legislators said it might not get done by the end of this session, but we reminded them we’ve been hearing that same song and dance for 22 months now. It can’t continue.”
Walton stressed the importance of having farmers in the room during talks with congressional representatives about policy issues impacting the industry.
“This is no longer a difficult situation,” he said, “but a dire one. If the biodiesel tax credit does not get pushed through, half of the fuel producers that were in the room with me will not be there next year.”
Ten biodiesel facilities in the U.S. have either closed or severely cut back production since the beginning of the year. Walton said it’s more important than ever that soybean and biodiesel leaders communicate the importance and consequences of the issue with elected officials.
“My priorities and our industry’s priorities include the biodiesel tax credit and fixing Renewable Volume Obligations, Small Refinery Waivers and the Argentinian trade circumstances,” he said.
Not funded by the soybean checkoff
The Iowa Soybean Association (www.iasoybeans.com) develops policies and programs that help Iowa’s more than 40,000 soybean farmers expand profit opportunities while promoting environmentally sensitive production using the soybean checkoff and other resources. The association was founded in 1964 and is governed by an elected volunteer board of 22 farmers. It strives to be honest and transparent, fact-based and data driven and committed to environmental stewardship, collaborations and partnerships.