Delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2018 Annual Convention unanimously re-elected AFBF President Zippy Duvall on Jan. 9. Delegates also approved measures to help assure a prosperous agricultural and rural economy in the coming year and beyond.
Resolutions approved by farmer and rancher delegates from across the nation ran the gamut of issues, from trade to regulatory reform, crop insurance, biotechnology and more.
“Today’s actions give us a clear roadmap at a time when farmers are on the verge of their fifth consecutive year of shrinking net farm income,” Duvall said. “Despite these difficulties, we remain optimistic: Official Washington feels more like a partner than it did just a short time ago. We have real opportunities to make progress in policy that we have not had in the past.”
Among other things, delegates approved measures supporting:
- An improved Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program to decrease risk-management disparities across counties
- A flexible cotton support program that considers cotton seed, cotton lint or both to help beleaguered cotton growers
- Strengthened and more flexible risk management and safety-net programs for dairy farmers
- Permission for workers to seek employment from more than one farmer under the H2A program
- Trade and trade agreements that strengthen market opportunities for U.S. agriculture
- Elimination of sunset provisions in trade agreements, to give certainty to businesses into the future
- Modification of NAFTA to improve market access to difficult Canadian dairy markets, in addition to improved food-safety standards for imported products
- An end to use of non-GMO labels on products that do not have GMO alternatives
- A $1 per member increase in dues paid by state affiliates of the American Farm Bureau Federation
- Support for the use of gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR, along with a voluntary and uniform labeling program for such products