By Fred Miller
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Ryan 501-671-2120
Aug. 31, 2017
Webinar presents insight on new farm bill debate
- Division of Agriculture hosts webinar on new farm bill
- Features Farm Bureau lobbyist Mary Kay Thatcher
- Will review status and legislative debate topics
(Newsrooms: with head shot of Thatcher )
LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will host a webinar about the new farm bill currently being debated in Congress.
The webinar, “Will It Be a 2017 or 2018 Farm Bill?”, will begin at 10 a.m. CST on Sept. 7. It is free, but registration is required. Participants can connect to the internet webinar on a computer, iPad or smartphone, or dial in to listen by phone.
The registration link is
Participants will receive the login link and dial-in phone number when they register.
The webinar will be hosted by Bobby Coats, professor of agricultural economics and agribusiness and produced by Mary Poling, coordinator for interactive communications, both for for the division’s Cooperative Extension Service.
The featured webinar presenter will be Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of Congressional affairs for the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Thatcher will review the status of ongoing discussions about the upcoming farm bill and will offer “inside the Beltway” insight into what is likely to be debated. She will also discuss interaction between the Trump administration and Congress concerning budget negotiations related to the farm bill.
Thatcher has worked as a lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation for 30 years. Currently, as senior director of Congressional relations, she lobbies primarily on issues covering farm programs, crop insurance, conservation, and credit.
In recent years she has also spearheaded AFBF’s participation on the topic of farm data, security and privacy. She serves as president of the Ag Data Transparency Evaluator, a tool developed by Ag Tech Providers and farm and commodity groups to help farmers understand the contracts they sign to share their farm data.
Thatcher was an appointee in President George H.W. Bush’s administration as the director of congressional and public affairs of the Farm Credit Administration. She was responsible for the policy direction and management of the agency’s congressional and public affairs activities.
She is a fifth generation Iowa farmer and grew up on a 500-acre Iowa beef, hay and corn farm. She now manages a farm in Iowa producing corn and soybeans and has a cow/calf operation.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your county extension office as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
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