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National farm policy experts to address Louisiana sugarcane group

Robert Johansson and Allison Crittenden, two nationally recognized experts on American sugar policy and farm bill issues, will address the February 8 meeting of the American Sugar Cane League at L’Auberge Casino and Hotel in Baton Rouge.

The League meeting is in conjunction with the semi-annual meeting of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. Projected time for the speakers is 10:30 a.m.

Dr. Robert Johansson is in his first year as the director of economics and policy analysis at the American Sugar Alliance. In his role at the ASA, Johansson studies and provides domestic and international sugar market analysis and evaluates farm and trade policies that affect U.S. sugar producers. Prior to joining the alliance, he was the chief economist at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and advised the Secretary of Agriculture. He also directed commodity analysis and managed the designs of various USDA programs.

Allison Crittenden, director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation, will also address the conference. She comes from a third-generation fruit and vegetable farm in Virginia where her family produced cantaloupes, peppers and cucumbers for sale on the east coast. With that firsthand knowledge of producer issues, she earned an agricultural economics degree from Virginia Tech. She served under U.S. Representative Rick Crawford on the 2018 farm bill and later moved to the Russell Group, a governmental relations firm specializing in the agricultural industry. She has been at the forefront of AFBF’s dealings with the U.S. government, including the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Labor. Both entities play an outsized role in the farmer’s life.

League president Randall Romero noted that the meeting is the first time in nearly two years that the organization can host the annual meeting in person.

“The Louisiana sugar industry was very mindful of health issues, and we experienced very few problems during the worst of the pandemic,” Romero said. “We are glad to be able to meet again in person to discuss things that are important to the sugar industry.”

Romero noted that the League meeting is held in conjunction with the semi-annual meeting of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists and scientific research presentations will be made. Industry suppliers will also be on hand to discuss their products.

Romero said the 2022 annual meeting will herald in the start of the American Sugar Cane League’s 100th year of service to the Louisiana sugarcane industry.

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