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David Sparks Ph.d Lynn Tjeerdsma
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: April 20, 2017

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Meet the man who calls five farm bills his "life's work in Washington," Lynn Tjeerdsma from the D.C. office of Senator John Thune, R-S.D. He was asked, since he came to Washington DC, how many farm bills have his fingerprints on them? "I have five farm bills between bookends on my file cabinet in my office and I tell people that is my life's work in Washington. Three in the Senate and to add USDA. How have things changed over the years? The process has become more difficult and I think it’s because there is less and less over the 26 years that I have been in Washington, there is less of a focus on agriculture and it is just sheer numbers. That is especially on the House side and when you look we have members that actually represent rural districts. In the Senate side, I have always been impressed with the members that we have in the Senate agricultural committee, both sides with a good grounding in agriculture, maybe not ranchers and farmers themselves but really seem to know a lot about agriculture. That part of it hasn't really changed but I think just the difficulty in the last farm bill which was supposed to be the 2012 farm bill and ended up being the 2014 farm bill. When it comes to food policy, that is an area of contention and I expect that to be a real challenge in the next farm bill. So there have been changes and as I said have made it much more difficult and I expect the next one to be a very great challenge.”

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