Proactive federal government relations and coalition building
Serving clients since 2011, by working collaboratively and successfully with associations, businesses and government officials throughout Washington, DC
James Callan Associates LLC, is a U.S. government relations, coalition building, and public policy firm achieving results for clients in agricultural biotechnology, crop protection, federal crop insurance, the Farm Bill, federal appropriations, the budget, taxation, international trade, and food regulation by proactively working with Members of Congress, congressional staff and executive branch officials. The company, managed and led by Founder/CEO Jim Callan (pictured above and see About Us), is located in the Washington, DC area.
Callan works on legislative and regulatory initiatives, several of which have been enacted into law or into new regulations benefiting an array of agriculture organizations, agribusinesses, and food companies as well as producers and consumers. He interacts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on trade, crop insurance, and plant protection, biotechnology matters, with the U.S, Environmental Protection Agency on pesticide issues, and with the U.S. Trade Representative's office, foreign embassies located in DC, and food and ag leaders. He has experience working with White House officials on several of the above issues, bringing together divergent interests.
He participates in the U.S. Food and Trade Ag Dialogue, including the U.S.-Japan Free Trade Agreement Working Group, with the Washington Ag Roundtable, the Ag Transportation Coalition, the Ag Workforce Coalition, and the Food and Agriculture Climate Coalition. Callan also has helped clients obtain federal funding. His growing influence in DC is reflected in the policy leaders with whom he meets (see Gallery page) and the various well connected coalitions in which he participates. In 2021, Callan is working with clients on several ag and food issues, obtaining contacts within the new Administration and new Congress, while maintaining his existing connections. Current activities include the Biden Administration's stimulus package and its impacts on agriculture, USDA's Quality Loss Adjustment program and the $20 per acre payments from the December 2020 stimulus that currently are under review, federal crop insurance, crop protection, ag biotechnology, trade involving China, the EU, and Mexico, potential tax changes on small businesses, conservation, biofuels, and the U.S. government's H-2A immigration program for Temporary Agricultural Workers. The following are examples of his work and the direct results he helped to obtain working for and with clients and alliances:
Legislation & Regulation:
2020 - Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law by President Trump in March 2020. Callan represented several clients before Congress and the Administration, securing relief funds for spring wheat and durum growers as part of the $23 billion secured for agriculture. In December 2020, he similarily worked with the Congress and USDA to ensure a $20 per acre payment to row crop producers. These payments are meant partially to compensate growers for losses directly resulting from the pandemic.
2019 - Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA): Callan participated and worked with major corporate and ag association federal government relations representatives on a two-year campaign to achieve passage and enactment of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA), which crop technology companies rely on for the licensing and registration of their products through EPA and to which they pay substantial user fees. As time was running out on a bipartisan deal, Callan helped secure passage through personal outreach to key Senators. PRIA was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in March 2019.
2018 Farm Bill: On behalf of several clients, Callan worked with producer organizations and agriculture businesses in securing several provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill ("Agriculture Improvement Act") passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Trump in December 2018. Among them: guaranteeing that USDA uses Risk Management Agency (RMA) data first in its calculations of potential payments to producers under the Agricultural Risk Coverage program, which would ensure use of the best available acreage data to evaluate potential payments; provisions for USDA to address concerns over conservation determinations of minimally impacted acreage that unduly penalize producers; requiring RMA to use previous reimbursement standards to improve incentives for creating new crop insurance tools; higher loan guarantees for producers; funding for USDA's Market Access and Foreign Market Development programs important to American agriculture sales abroad; funding for critical research on the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative; and language ensuring coordination for endangered species evaluations in crop protection reviews among White House offices, USDA, EPA, and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Regulatory Reset: Working with a broad coalition of U.S. agriculture, crop protection, and pest management users, Callan has worked more than 5 years (into 2019) assisting nearly 60 agriculture and food organizations in its communications with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and federal courts on an essential insecticide used on 50 crops in nearly 100 countries, including numerous uses in the United States. These include a variety of nutritious crops, commodities, and staples vital to consumers - ranging from apples, almonds, cherries, and oranges to corn, cotton, soybeans, forests, golf courses, and plants. He has managed other coalitions throughout his career including on the 2014 Farm Bill resulting in successful inclusion of provisions on crop insurance and fumigation chemistry important to ag and food.
Enacted: On behalf of a client, Callan participated in approximately 100 meetings with Members of Congress and congressional staff during a 19-month period ending in mid-July 2016, leading to enactment of uniform biotech food labeling legislation. On July 29, 2016, President Obama signed into law The Biotech Labeling Solutions Act of 2016. This followed months of intensive negotiations in Congress, especially between Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). With feedback from the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, the two Senators developed legislation to address concerns over a patchwork of state labeling laws detrimental to agricultural technology, producers and consumers. The resulting compromise bill, S. 2609, passed the House, 306 to 117 on July 14 and the Senate, 63-30 on July 8, with significant bipartisan support. The measure would require USDA to create a mandatory federal system for labeling foods containing biotechnology-based ingredients and preempt state laws, while providing marketplace certainty and continued availability of food products across state lines. The measure superseded a House bill passed in July 2015, which also was approved on a bipartisan vote, with that bill's key difference being it would establish a voluntary labeling program.
Major U.S. federal agencies (noted below) along with the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization agree that biotech-based foods and ingredients are safe for human consumption. These technologies have significantly improved crop yields for food, fiber, fuel and everyday uses within a sustainable framework. Further, the potential for growing crops in drought stricken regions and fighting blindness from nutrition deficiencies are among the many biotechnology benefits on the horizon.
The federal law was in response to a misguided Vermont state law that threatened the nation's food supply and was expected to increase consumer costs. The Act also would require USDA to develop, in coordination with other federal agencies, a science-based education and outreach effort for consumers and a mandatory report to Congress on the availability of information. More than 1100 food, agriculture and agri-business companies and organizations wrote the Congress in support of the legislation, representing a wide and diverse cross section of U.S. businesses and agricultural companies, farmers, food providers, lenders, processors, retailers and technology developers.
Enacted: On May 20, 2016 President Obama signed into law the bipartisan Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), sponsored by House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX-8) and co-sponsored by 61 House Republicans and Democrats, granting tariff relief to U.S. companies importing non-controversial components that aid in American manufacturing and increase business competitiveness: https://thehill.com/policy/finance/trade/280713-obama-signs-tariff-relief-bill. These inputs are non-controversial if they are not produced in the United States. Since MTB's expiration in 2012 the tax increases on U.S. businesses have been pegged at $748 million with an estimated loss to the economy of $1.857 billion, according to a study by the National Association of Manufacturers. The bill, H.R. 4923, the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016, passed the U.S. House on April 27, 2016 by a vote of 415 to 2, while the Senate passed the measure on May 10, 2016, by unanimous consent. Callan assisted a client in communicating with House and Senate offices.
Enacted: An amendment that Callan helped secure in the 2014 Farm Bill, enacted on February 7, 2014, would protect the food supply from pests. The amendment, supported by the Sulfuryl Fluoride Agricultural Coalition -- a diverse group of major agriculture and food organizations -- and that was drafted by EPA with wide bipartisan congressional support, was included in the new Farm Bill after a three-year campaign Callan helped lead and manage. Sulfuryl flouride (SF) protects a wide range of agricultural products and stored food throughout the United States, including cocoa, corn, rice, various milled grains, dry foods, prunes, almonds, walnuts, pasta, peanuts, and cotton seed used for a variety of purposes including livestock feed. The fumigant received a Stratospheric Ozone Award from EPA, but the agency proposed removing the chemistry for uses because of lawsuit threats from anti-fluoride groups. The amendment would preserve SF, thereby protecting our food supply and consumers.
Enacted: Callan also successfully led a nearly three-year effort working with corn grower groups on a crop insurance amendment included in the new Farm Bill that will ensure producers with unmarketable, low-test weight corn damaged by cold weather will have their crop adjusted to market conditions. It would also help maintain program integrity, and is similar to a proposal previously made by the USDA's Office of Inspector General. He worked closely with corn leaders, Congress, and the Risk Management Agency. Management Agency
Regulatory Approval: In 2014, Callan helped secure major corn and soybean seed product approvals in agricultural biotechnology and their accompanying herbicides, following a comprehensive multi-year effort working successfully with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Federal Funding: In Fiscal Year 2015, Callan helped to obtain federal funding for a client involving a biodiesel project working with USDA's Rural Development Agency. During Fiscal Year 2014, he organized efforts leading to the successful funding of a risk management education partnership with USDA's Risk Management Agency, focusing on farm-level management for growers in the northern plains of the United States. To find out more details, please contact Mr. Callan directly.
- Callan interview on June 18, 2020, with Carah Hart of Red River Valley Network’s "Agriculture Today" discussing future congressional action on U.S. agriculture funding. Interview begins at 8:50: https://www.rrfn.com/podcast/2020/06/18/agriculture-today-557/
- My interview, June 8, 2020, with Mick Kjar of Ag Central Radio Network, located in Fargo, ND, on some of the latest happenings in Washington, DC regarding federal agriculture policy: https://www.agnews890.com/episode/06-08-20-weekly-visit-on-north-dakota-corn-with-nd-corn-council-washington-lobbyist-james-callan/
- Callan, who formerly managed a national crop protection association, was interviewed by Pest Control Technology Online on the "vital food and agricultural fumigant, sulfuryl fluoride," during the National Pest Management Association's Legislative Day involving Members of Congress. Interview: http://www.pctonline.com/Callan-protect-food-usessulfuryl-flouride.aspx
- As the Washington, D.C. government relations consultant with the most federal experience in federal crop insurance, a program he previously helped to lead, Callan discusses revenue insurance and the Farm Bill in a farm broadcast television interview: "Provisions in the stalled Farm Bill would have provided farmers and ranchers more security through revised crop insurance programs."
Presentations & Published Articles:
Callan regularly presents to Boards of Directors of various agriculture groups and coalitions, providing updates on congressional and administration policymaking and new information on developments affecting ag and food, especially from 2018 to 2020.
Callan has presented to a range of audiences. He presented to 400 producers in Fargo, ND on "Farm Legislation In An Election Year." He spoke to 2,000 officials in Tokyo, Japan, and some 700 officials in Madrid, Spain. He has met with EU officials in Brussels, Belgium, and visits often with ag attaches from various embassies in Washington, DC. For the World Bank AgriFin publication, Callan authored a piece on the federal crop insurance program in the context of the Farm Bill and the program's overall operations and costs: https://agrifinfacility.org/us-federal-crop-insurance-program
Background: James Callan Associates LLC represents corporations and associations before Congress and the Administration, consults with investment management firms on federal policies, and manages outreach and contacts with the U.S. government. Interacting with a wide network of Washington, DC policy and business officials, Callan's firm analyzes current and expected legislation, builds and manages coalitions, identifies and reports on trends, brings clients and their priorities before policymakers, and develops creative and straightforward ways to achieve client goals. Callan has senior-level leadership experience in the federal government and private sector. He also serves as a part-time faculty member at The George Washington University's School of Business in Washington, DC:
Approaches: Navigating complicated programs and knowing whom to contact can be a challenge along with getting your voice heard before decision makers. Working closely with clients James Callan Associates LLC identifies and implements strategic approaches to amplify your voice in Washington by reaching the important decision makers on Capitol Hill, in federal agencies, and in the Administration. The firm works closely with coalitions and third parties, conducts detailed analysis, and provides reports that you can use with your members, customers, and boards in building and strengthening your own relationships.
Clients include: Corporations and associations, and investment management companies. For further information, contact Callan directly.