0906IowaFarmBureauLegislati.cfm State Farm Bureau meets to approve policies
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State Farm Bureau meets to approve policies


The federal deficit, mounting regulations by appointed state boards and the 2012 farm bill topped lively debate among the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation voting delegates who met in West Des Moines recently to approve policy. The state's largest grassroots farm organization members gather annually to approve policies that impact farmers, rural vitality and all Iowa taxpayers.

"Our members spent a lot of time discussing the need and the difficulties of reducing our nation's $13 trillion deficit, which is a burden we don't want to saddle with our grandchildren. Our voting delegates agreed that fiscal responsibility should be the cornerstone of all our state and national policies, and that includes the 2012 farm bill," said IFBF President Craig Lang.

"Voting delegates discussed a wide range of options and acknowledged regional differences, but agreed this farm bill must provide a dependable, fiscally responsible safety net for all farmers. Instead of direct payments, we agreed the money should be used to enhance a sound revenue insurance program, risk management and fair trade. Our members also agreed the next Farm Bill should help beginning farmers improve their income," said Lang. The IFBF policy will be forwarded and subject to national debate during American Farm Bureau Federation policy discussions Jan. 9 to 12.

Extensive discussion also centered on regulations. "Farm Bureau members agreed that all state regulations and rules proposed by unelected members of departments, commissions, boards or agencies have to win legislative approval before they can be put in place. The Environmental Protection Commission is one such appointed board that has been given free reign for too long. Our members support elimination of the EPC," said Lang, "because many of their proposed rules go far beyond those already enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency and extend past the scope or intention of those who created the board."

IFBF delegates also voted to increase the use of renewable fuels, achieving the highest renewable fuel standard possible, requiring all gasoline sold in Iowa to be blended with ethanol at the maximum rate allowed in the standard automotive fleet. Additionally, Farm Bureau voting delegates wrote policy opposing the expansion of the 100-year flood plain and any additional restrictions beyond current law. Always interested in improving conservation measures on the farm, members also discussed the erosion reduction benefits of tile drainage and oppose any new regulation of their use.

The Sept. 2 to 3 Summer Policy Conference is a step in Farm Bureau's grassroots policy development process, with the Iowa Farm Bureau's national policies yet to be submitted to the AFBF. All state Farm Bureaus meet in January to finalize the organization's national policies.

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