Voting delegates at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th Annual Meeting expressed support for a bipartisan, reform-minded farm bill, crafted around a broad, flexible, crop-insurance-based program, including risk-management protection for peanuts, rice, forage and specialty crops.
“After ending a long year of policy uncertainty culminating with an extension of the old bill, we will push hard, in cooperation with our congressional and administration allies, for a five-year farm bill that provides our farmers certainty and extends much-needed risk management tools across more acres and more crops,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman, a rice and cattle producer from Texas.
Delegates said AFBF would not only support a farm bill with a strong safety net and risk management programs to protect farmers from catastrophes, but they also would work for programs that provide emergency assistance for livestock and tree producers not covered by federal crop insurance programs.
Delegates reaffirmed policy supporting changes to the dairy safety net, consistent with the margin insurance programs included in versions of the farm bill approved by the House and Senate Ag Committees.
On another dairy issue, delegates approved a new policy that states only pasteurized milk and milk products should be sold for human consumption. Delegates approved the measure in light of the potential risks to public health and food safety posed by consumption of raw milk.
On national fiscal policy, delegates reaffirmed the importance of a sound budget process with a priority on spending restraints rather than tax increases. Delegates also voted to support streamlining or replacement of the H-2A seasonal and temporary agricultural worker program in addition to allowing experienced, undocumented agricultural workers to adjust to legal status.