Agricultural policy has been a sticking point in transatlantic trade negotiations. For decades, the ACG has been one of the few German-American organizations that has had programs focused on agricultural policy, farming, food production, and access to food. Through these activities, American and German practitioners have had the opportunity to discuss the issues influencing agriculture and farming on both sides of the Atlantic, exchange best practices, and establish professional and personal ties with their transatlantic counterparts.
Through the McCloy Leadership Mission on Agriculture, Food Security, and Resource Scarcity (formerly the McCloy Fellowship in Agriculture), for nearly 40 years the ACG has worked with the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Deutscher Bauernverband to bring together farmers, ranchers, and agricultural policy experts. From October 26 until November 7, six Germans agricultural professionals traveled to the United States to take part in the program. During the 11-day study tour, the participants met with policy-makers, had site visits, and exchanged best practices with their American counterparts.
The participants were Anne Byrenheid, Consultant for Livestock and Animal Welfare for the Thuringian Farmer’s Association; Sven Deter, Chairman of Regional Farmer’s Association and City Manager for the City of Wulkow; Lisa Hansen-Flüh, Head of Division of Plant Production for the Farmer’s Association of Schlwesig-Holstein; Jonas Kaufmann, Dairy Farmer at Seebodenhof Farm; Markus Müller, Managing Director of Swabian Chapter of the Bavarian Farmer’s Union; and David Spies, Manager and Winemaker at Weingut Spies.
Beginning in Washington, DC, the delegation met with practitioners and policy-makers at the forefront of the agricultural discussions. Much of the discussion centered around how the policies of the Trump administration have influenced farming and agriculture in the past two years and the possibility of a new transatlantic trade policy. In addition to these policy discussions, the cohort visited farms in Maryland and Virginia.
The delegation also traveled to Madison, WI, and Orlando, FL, to examine how states, which have extreme weather handle food production. In each location, the group was hosted by past program alumni and member of local farmer’s associations.