Farm Bureau delegates voted on policy priorities for 2021 at the conclusion of the American Farm Bureau Federation Virtual Annual Convention. Micheal Clements shares what issues top the list for the new year.
Clements: Setting Farm Bureau’s focus for 2021, key topics ranged from farm diversity to farm labor and dairy policy to livestock marketing. Sam Kieffer, AFBF Vice President of Public Affairs, says Farm Bureau delegates voted to increase racial diversity in agriculture.
Kieffer: Recognizing the importance of broadening access to agriculture, our delegates voted to increase racial diversity in farming. Our new policy calls for increased funding for USDA programs that make inheriting farms easier, and to promote diverse farmland ownership.
Clements: Kieffer says delegates also support re-examining 2018 farm bill modifications to the milk pricing formula and increasing transparency in the cattle markets.
Kieffer: Our delegates voted to provide stability in the market by supporting efforts to increase negotiated sales in fed cattle markets. Our delegates are also calling on the Risk Management Agency to provide hurricane protection coverage against both hurricane force winds and excessive rainfall, and supporting modification to a specialty crop insurance product that would allow for greater options and minimize food waste.
Clements: Other policy priorities include support for farm labor reforms.
Kieffer: Recognizing the importance of the H-2A program, but also calling for reforms to expand the program and provide visa workers for both seasonal and year-round operations, specifically dairy, mushrooms and other operations that are not just for one time of the year.
Clements: Delegates also elected members to serve on the AFBF board of directors and national program committees. Find complete details at www.fb.org. Micheal Clements, Washington.