The American Bakers Association (ABA) led today’s Farm Bill Fly-In on Capitol Hill, pushing for several key wholesale baking industry priorities to be included in the 2023 Farm Bill. 

ABA Members from across the supply chain who are involved in ingredient procurement, passionate about federal nutrition programs, and interested in wheat innovation research held a bakers’ dozen of 13 meetings during the day including federal agency officials, senators, and representatives from both sides of the political aisle.  

“For the 2023 Farm Bill, it has been especially important to drive our industry’s priorities in partnership with a broader group of DC-based associations. That said: Our biggest partners are our members,” said Lee Sanders, senior vice president, government relations and public affairs. “Our members can illustrate with real-life examples how Farm Bill policies impact day-to-day decisions. ABA ensures industry stories are heard by the policy influencers who craft provisions in the Farm Bill.” 

Every five years, Congress goes through an extensive process to develop and pass legislation that sets national commodity, trade, nutrition programs, energy, and research policy. ABA sees the Farm Bill as an opportunity to modernize outdated policies and ensure flexibility for the American food system. 

“It’s because of ABA’s constant policy efforts in DC that we as Members are able to come in and have efficient, impactful discussions with policymakers on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies,” said Hayden Wands, VP of global procurement, commodities, Grupo Bimbo. "ABA’s expertise in helping bakers and suppliers connect the dots between policy and practicality makes advocacy approachable and effective for those of us who don’t do these sorts of meetings every day.” 

“We are confident with ABA in our corner, we can make a difference in helping lawmakers understand the Farm Bill's impacts on the wholesale baking industry,” Wands added. 

During ABA’s Farm Bill Fly-In, ABA members asked Congress to: 

  • Modernize the U.S. Sugar Program to allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to better respond to ever-changing market demands. 
  • Retain Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) choice for recipients. 
  • Increase wheat production to meet domestic and global demand through sustainable opportunities creating tools such as expanding the definition of cover crops to allow for harvested food use, and keeping the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage cap steady. 
  • Maintain a strong USDA research infrastructure adding emphasis for strong wheat quality research to keep America competitive worldwide. 

ABA has published a “Why Bakers Care About the Farm Bill” page on its website for more information about their critical work in this policy area. 

ABA’s next fly-in will be November 13–14, and will focus on broader policy initiatives such as workforce, nutrition, and supply chain.