Farm Bureau announces national priority issues
Passage of a new five-year farm bill tops the list of priority issues for the American Farm Bureau, announced following the conclusion of the organization's 94th annual convention in Nashville, Tenn. The priority issues are determined by the AFBF board of directors, including Sand Springs, Okla., farmer Mike Spradling, who was re-elected to his fourth, two-year term.
"These are critical issues that need our immediate attention," Spradling said. "We will use all available resources to work on these issues."
The national farm group said its 2013 strategic action agenda will include:
--Work for passage of a new farm bill that meets core principles by Sept. 13. Core principles include a farm income safety net and risk management programs to protect farmers from catastrophes, and programs that provide emergency assistance for livestock and tree producers not covered by federal crop insurance programs;
--Work for passage of Water Resources Development Act and for reform of harbor maintenance trust fund and inland waterways trust fund;
--Defend standards and incentives necessary to further develop U.S. renewable fuels industry;
--Work for legislation in early 2013 that addresses both long- and short-term agricultural labor needs;
--Oppose EPA efforts to expand scope of "navigable waters "subject to federal regulations under the Clean Water Act;
--Oppose expansion of federal Clean Water Act permit requirements for poultry and livestock farmers and ranchers;
--Protect farmers' and ranchers' business tax interests in debate on fiscal policy and tax reform;
--Protect farmers' and ranchers' interests in development of FDA food safety regulations.