BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Matt Hines, Holton, Ks, is a licensed commodity broker and Jackson County Farm Bureau Association member and has been selected to serve on the Market Structures Committee for the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) as a Chairman.
Hines has served on the Jackson County Farm Bureau Association Board for a year and a half. He completed an application, consisting of mostly background information, to be appointed to the Market Structures Committee for AFBF. One month into being selected, Hines was asked to serve as the Chairman.
“It has been a whirlwind these past few months, to say the least, getting up to speed, but the AFBF staff is tremendous.” Says Hines.
Hines went to a conference in Washington D.C. in late February. Being a part of the Market Structures Committee, they had two topics that need to be covered the first day, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Act (GIPSA) interim final rule and Kansas City (KC) wheat futures.
“These took up most our time but we also discussed cattle futures and mandatory price reporting.” Says Hines.
“We joined the Animal Care Committee to discuss the GIPSA interim final rule that has many in the cattle and hog industry concerned. If the interim final rule were to be implemented, a farmer or rancher would not necessarily need to prove competitive harm to everyone, just harm to oneself. This could lead to many frivolous lawsuits and there have been rumors that packers, both on the cattle and hog side, would then get rid of all premium programs. The KC wheat futures issue deals with the non-price convergence between cash and futures at delivery points. There are many reasons for this but a major issue is that producers cannot participate in the delivery process as it is currently structured.”
The second day, Tuesday, consisted of training courses towards advocacy and legislative updates. Wednesday, Hines and the rest of the committee visited Capitol Hill.
“We were able to meet with every KS Representative and Senator and or staff and were even give a night time tour of the US Capitol by Congressman Marshall and his staff.” Says Hines.
Hines learned and saw things from a new perspective through this conference. His committee continues to meet to discuss both cash and futures markets. A recent conference call was very productive with both the CME Group and CFTC.
Hines will be keeping Kansas Farm Bureau updated on the progress and bring markets with additional concern to the committee. The committee is comprised of eight members from various states. Hines’ goal is to reach out to those states who are not represented and find out if they have any additional concerns.
Finally, Hines says, “The most memorable moment would probably be the night time tour, sitting in the House Chamber 24 hours after President Trump’s speech. Honestly, being a part of the process, feeling like we do have a voice and the Farm Bureau slogan…”The Voice of Agriculture” really rang true that week.”
Written by Janelle Marney