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January 24, 2013

AFBF Establishes Strategic Action Plan for 2013

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

The board of directors of the nation’s largest farm organization has established the priorities for 2013. American Farm Bureau Director of Public Policy Dale Moore explains in this report from AFBF’s Johnna Miller.
Miller:It’s an annual event. Farmers and ranchers from around the country gather to vote on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s policies for the new year. But that covers hundreds of issues and obviously if you want to be effective you’ve got to prioritize. AFBF’s board of directors has done that, giving the nation’s largest farm organization a strategic action plan for 2013.
Moore:When we’re focusing our priorities and our resources on action plans for the coming year, these are the topics we want staff, our membership, our grassroots focused on as we move forward.
Miller:Dale Moore is AFBF’s director of public policy. He says those priorities include some things with a good chance of success this year, because Congress or government agencies have shown a willingness to work on them.
Moore:In the case of the inland waterways, we saw that with the drought the impact, the extra work that the Army Corps was doing trying to deepen the channel in places to make sure commerce can still flow up and down the river. It’s a vital part of moving commodities in and out of particularly the heartland of farm country. It’s also like with the farm bill. We came very close last year, a lot of frustrations in not getting a new farm bill done, but we saw this week Senate Majority Leader Reid introduced the Senate bill that passed the full Senate last year as both a starting point and the opportunity to be a priority on his list, which we welcome.
Miller:But there are also issues that are important for agriculture, but will admittedly be more of a long shot to get done, especially given the budget and tax issues facing Congress.
Moore:It would be wonderful to get the ag worker issues resolved this year so that farmers and ranchers have that steady, reliable supply of workers. Past experience would suggest that is going to be tied in with immigration reform. That’s never an easy discussion with any Congress or with any president, but nonetheless we’ve got to start planting the seeds now for where we want to see this process end up.
Miller:Other priorities include further development of the renewable fuels industry; opposing Environmental Protection Agency efforts to expand the scope of the Clean Water Act; and protecting farmers’ and ranchers’ interests in debates on fiscal policy and tax reform. Johnna Miller, Washington.
Miller:Newsline is updated Mondays and Thursdays by 5pm Eastern time. Thank you for listening.

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