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American Farm Bureau establishes 2023 policies at annual meeting

Montana policies adopted during annual meeting

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Farmer and rancher delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation's 104th Convention adopted policies to guide the organization's work in 2023.

Key topics ranged from expanding risk management programs and improving dairy pricing transparency to battling hunger.

Delegates were polled regarding their farms at the beginning of the voting session. The results show almost 99% - 334 delegates - of those who cast votes operate family farms and almost 65% represent small- to mid-size farms as defined by USDA.

"Delegates demonstrated the strength of Farm Bureau by coming together to represent hard-working farm families from all 50 states and Puerto Rico," AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. "There's a lot of work to do in 2023 as Congress drafts the next farm bill, and the policies set forth today will guide AFBF as we work to ensure farmers and ranchers can continue to meet the growing needs of families in America and around the world."

Delegates to the American Farm Bureau business meeting voted to modernize the farm bill by expanding baseline funding, developing more flexible disaster relief programs and extending protection to more specialty crops.

Voting delegates formalized Farm Bureau's position opposing the 2022 Waters of the U.S. rule and a proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rule if it requires Scope 3 emissions reporting from farms.

"We were pleased to see that the policies brought forth by Montana Farm Bureau, which originated from our county Farm Bureaus across our state, were voted on to become 2023 AFBF policy," MFBF President Cyndi Johnson said.

The MFBF policies included reimbursing livestock producers twice the replacement cost of an animal killed or needing to be euthanized  after an attack by federally protected predators; keeping Bureau of Land Management grazing lands for traditional purposes, and not giving bison priority; supporting agricultural lessees/permittees on federal or state lands to have the priority to sell carbon credits on those lands instead of governmental entities, and broadening the service support and funding preference to veterans.

Recognizing growing food insecurity in the United States, delegates approved new policy to support access to nutrition programs including connecting farms directly with food banks, increasing the number of SNAP-approved food sales outlets, and other efforts to make produce available to families living in food deserts.

On trade, delegates added policy for USDA to continue working with the Mexican government to drop a proposed ban on imports of biotech corn. The new policy also encourages USDA to urge the Mexican government to accept established science on the safety of U.S. biotech products.

A delegation of 46 Montana Farm Bureau members have been attending the workshops, general sessions, Young Farmer & Rancher Competitive Events and the trade show.


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