U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, was presented the Golden Plow Award by the American Farm Bureau, the highest honor the organization gives to a sitting member of Congress. Boozman received the award at the Arkansas Farm Bureau’s annual Officers and Leaders Conference in Rogers.
“This truly is an honor. I’m a guy who believes the best ideas come from the ground up, which is why the voices of the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Arkansas Farm Bureau carry so much weight in my book. We have stood side by side on numerous battles over the years and I can tell you those outcomes would have been much different had the Farm Bureau not been there. I will always rely on the Farm Bureau’s input to guide our policy decisions in Washington,” Boozman said.
“For two decades, Senator Boozman has demonstrated his commitment to agriculture and farmers across the country. His unwavering support for hardworking farm families has earned him Friend of Farm Bureau award for 10 consecutive sessions, so presenting him with the Golden Plow award seems only natural,” said American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall.“Senator Boozman knows the key to good policy is consensus. He’s willing to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers while ensuring America’s families continue to enjoy a stable food supply.”
“Senator John Boozman is a champion for agriculture,” said Rich Hillman, a rice farmer from Carlisle who serves as president of Arkansas Farm Bureau and who nominated Boozman for the Golden Plow. “Our nation’s farmers and ranchers could not be better served than we are with John Boozman leading agriculture policy efforts in the U.S. Senate. He epitomizes the spirit of the Golden Plow award.
Hillman added, “Senator Boozman is a great listener, which is very important when representing others. Listening and understanding the concerns of others is one of his most meaningful attributes. He stands for what he believes, puts aside the small stuff and works for the common good. He has always represented Arkansas’ farmers and ranchers with tenacity and the highest integrity.”
Boozman, a 10-time Friend of Farm Bureau award recipient, has a long history of advancing U.S. and Arkansas agriculture interests and standing up for family farmers, ranchers and foresters. His efforts that helped earn this honor include:
Protecting the Future of Family Farming: In his role as lead Republican on the agriculture committee, Boozman was among the most vocal opponents of the Biden administration’s proposed tax code changes that would have had a devastating impact on rural America. Boozman and his colleagues were successful in forcing the White House to abandon the idea of paying for its “Build Back Better” plan on the backs of our family farmers, ranchers and foresters with proposed changes to capital gains, stepped-up basis and like-kind exchanges.
Ensuring New Programs Put Farmers First: Boozman’s leadership was key to ensuring the Growing Climate Solutions Act ecured overwhelming support in the Senate, passing by a 92-8 margin. He worked across the aisle with Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) to make the programs created by the bill more farmer-friendly, farmer-focused and, most importantly, voluntary.
Securing Vital Emergency Relief for Producers: As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Boozman played a key role in ensuring that the second round of relief from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program would be available to contract growers of livestock and poultry who suffered revenue losses and were originally omitted when the program was created. American Farm Bureau said inclusion of a provision in the bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations bill that Boozman pushed for “resulted in almost $1 billion in federal assistance to support poultry growers who were seeing reduced flock placement because of supply chain challenges that resulted during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Working Across the Aisle to Put Agriculture First: Boozman was among a select number of members who crafted the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill legislation, forging a compromise between the competing versions passed by the Senate and House of Representatives. The final bill received more votes on the Senate floor than any previous farm bill. It contained several provisions Boozman authored, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) reform, regulatory reform and many other priorities for Arkansas agriculture.
Creating Market Access for Our Producers: Throughout his tenure in Congress, Boozman has made it a priority to expand new market opportunities for Arkansas producers to compete in and ensure existing trade partners, like Iraq, keep their commitments to purchase Arkansas-grown commodities.
Advocating for Nutrition and Hunger Relief Programs: Boozman is a co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus and has been a leader in the effort to improve USDA’s summer meal programs. The proposed reforms for which he has advocated since his introduction of the Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015 were the basis for successful pandemic hunger relief programs. Just last month, Boozman helped forge an agreement to deliver important funding and flexibility for communities to provide children healthy meals this summer and respond to supply chain challenges and high food costs for the coming school year.
Looking Out for Rural America: Boozman has always viewed the success of agriculture and rural America as incumbent upon each other and as such has advocated for expanded business development and job training opportunities in these communities. His position on the Senate Committee on Appropriations allowed him to secure $2.8 million for the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Access (ATTRA) program for Fiscal Year 2021. This program connects Arkansas agricultural producers to information that helps them improve their operations. ATTRA also administers the Armed to Farm program that assists veterans in transition to civilian life by training them for a career in farming. The program has a regional headquarters located in Fayetteville, Arkansas.