GROWMARK System members got the rare opportunity to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan. The meeting took place Monday, June 13, at his office in the Capitol. Twenty-fice FS general managers, board presidents, young farmer customers, and GROWMARK board and staff members attended.
Speaker Ryan outlined seven points of his agenda for next year, while attendees discussed important issues to the System, including GMO labeling.
'The meeting with Speaker Ryan was a great opportunity for our group to verify what I've known for a long time — that the Speaker is a friend to virtually all of our issues as an agricultural cooperative,' said GROWMARK and Conserv FS board member Kevin Malchine. 'Every time I speak with him, I come away impressed,' he added. Malchine is a farmer in southeastern Wisconsin and constituent of Ryan's congressional district.
'I was impressed by Speaker Ryan's ability to relate to people, get to know us in a short time, and understand our issues,' said Matt Heitz, GROWMARK and Three Rivers FS board member from Farley, Iowa.
'It's really valuable to meet someone like Speaker Ryan in person because you get to know them as an individual,' said Paul Munie, a farmer from Caseyville, Illinois and St. Clair Service Company customer. 'I really appreciated the opportunity to discuss the issues that matter to me with the Speaker,' he added.
The meeting coincided with the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives Washington Conference. During that time, GROWMARK System members conducted meetings with Speaker Ryan and more than 30 Representatives and Senators from Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative with annual sales of $8.8 billion (FY 2015 data) providing agronomy, energy, facility planning, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services in more than 40 states and Ontario, Canada. GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member cooperatives. More information is available at www.growmark.com.