Oklahoma issues adopted by American Farm Bureau
Crop insurance reform, correct use of H1N1 terminology and a change in Department of Transportation rules were among the slew of issues pushed by Oklahoma Farm Bureau delegates at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention, Jan. 9 to 13 in Seattle, Wash.
"It was a good convention, and I believe all of our issues received great support from farmers and ranchers all over the country," said Mike Spradling, OFB president.
On crop insurance, the AFBF voting delegates adopted a resolution stating farmers should be able to purchase double crop insurance for crops that were planted and harvested on the same acreage in the last four years. They also passed a resolution saying the history of crop loss may be spread over the past 10 years instead of five years.
"It would be devastating to Oklahoma producers if we had to use a 5-year base for claim loss," Spradling said. "Our weather is extremely volatile, and giving us 10 years to spread the loss history over is more meaningful."
In response to media mislabeling of the H1N1 virus as "swine flu" and the severe impact that has had on pork demand, the delegates urged the news media to use the correct scientific terminology in referring to animal and plant health issues.
Delegates adopted the Oklahoma-requested policy of changing the DOT requirement that any vehicle carrying more than 119 gallons of fuel in a tank other than the vehicle fuel tank be placarded to now be boosted to 500 gallons.
As expected, the farm leaders took a strong stance against cap and trade proposals before Congress and supported "any legislative action that would suspend EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act."
Other issues receiving major attention included meaningful relief from the estate tax, balancing the federal budget, continuing support for a mandatory country-of-origin labeling program, a workable disaster program and changes to the Federal Milk Marketing Order structure, formulas and price classes used to compute milk prices to accurately reflect market conditions.
Spradling said the thorough and complete discussion of the issues indicates Farm Bureau is a true grass-roots organization.
"This is one of our proudest moments as a Farm Bureau member when you see voting delegates representing the entire country, coming together to agree on these issues," Spradling said.