Delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 Annual Convention today approved a host of public policy measures designed to help assure a prosperous future for farmers, ranchers and everyone who depends on them for food, fuel and fiber.
Delegates covered the full range of agriculture policy over the day-long session. Resolutions passed included important measures covering regulatory reform, crop insurance, the inclusion of food assistance in the upcoming farm bill, school nutrition, biotechnology, energy and more.
“The actions taken today by our farmer and rancher delegates from across the nation represent the culmination of our year-long grassroots policy process,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “It also provides us a roadmap for actions AFBF will take to implement our policies throughout this year, and I am optimistic about those prospects.”
Delegates approved policy supporting regulatory reform, including legislation to eliminate “judicial deference,” which has essentially nullified the power of the courts to serve as a check on agency abuses.
Also on the topic of regulations, delegates approved policy to oppose agency advocacy campaigns in support of their own proposed regulations.
Delegates passed a sense-of-the-body resolution calling for comprehensive regulatory reform, driving home the importance of the issue for farmers and ranchers.
New language was approved to require the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies to coordinate and cooperate in a meaningful way with state and local governments in making land management plans and decisions as required by Congress. They also supported mandatory recusal for federal officers who face conflicts of interest in their work.
Hunger and Nutrition
Delegates overwhelmingly approved language supporting efforts to fund nutrition programs including food assistance and school lunches through the same, unified farm bill that funds farm safety-net programs.
Delegates also called on Congress to support incorporating all types of domestic fruits and vegetables into the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for schools. Delegates supported the use of fresh and locally grown product when available.
Delegates reaffirmed strong support for risk-management and safety-net tools to defend against volatile commodity markets.
Delegates reaffirmed support for flexibility in the H-2A program that would allow workers to seek employment from more than one farmer.
Delegates reaffirmed support for the protection of proprietary data collected from farmers, voting that farmers should be compensated when their data is used by third parties. Delegates also supported sale of proprietary data to third parties.