Each year at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference, John Altom with Valent USA Corporation has the pleasure of presenting the Valor award to someone in the industry who exhibits the definition of Valor according to Webster’s dictionary – “strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness; personal bravery.”
This year that award went to Bob Redding, longtime lobbyist in Washington DC for the peanut industry, a job that definitely requires personal bravery to fight political battles for farmers on Capitol Hill.
Redding gave his annual legislative update to the organization with a strong emphasis on the need for growers to be involved in the political process through contributions to political action committees (PACs). “The pressure for fundraising on members of Congress grows every cycle,” said Redding. “Growers need to participate more – it is what it is.”
Redding says financial support for members of Congress is critical to keep advocates for agriculture in office. “The House Ag Committee for us has never been stronger,” said Redding. “Senate Ag Committee’s been very good for us so we feel good about where we are.”