ATLANTA, January 11, 2022 – Farmer and rancher delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 103rd Convention adopted policies to guide the organization’s work in 2022. Key topics ranged from milk pricing and beef market transparency to urban agriculture.
“Delegates from all 50 state Farm Bureaus and Puerto Rico came together to demonstrate the power of grassroots leadership,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “The policies set forth will guide Farm Bureau in its mission to advocate for farmers and ranchers and build a sustainable future of safe and abundant food, fiber and renewable fuel for our entire nation and world.”
Delegates re-elected AFBF President Zippy Duvall and Vice President Scott VanderWal for their fourth terms.
Long-standing frustration over imbalances in the meat industry led to calls for greater transparency in livestock markets. In this complex discussion, it was determined that while government should play a role in increasing the share of negotiated sales while being respectful of regional differences, government mandates setting percentages of cash sales should not be used to achieve this end as doing so will negatively impact cow/calf producers.
As farmers’ labor struggles continue, delegates approved additional policies that build on existing AFBF policies regarding the need for employee stabilization and reforms to the guestworker program.
Delegates updated policy on biofuels to include renewable diesel. The addition recognizes the innovation and potential that sustainable biofuels provide environmental benefits while creating opportunities for America's farmers.
As farmers and ranchers continue to increase their reliance on digital technologies, delegates voted to support raising the standard for federal broadband projects to be at least 100 Mbps for both uploads and downloads.
Montana Farm Bureau had three policies pass through the process. The policies dealt with predator depredation on livestock, addressing needed mitigation and prevention of coal seam fires, and state property tax. Next year MFBF intends to bring back an improved version of their resolution dealing with increased levels of USDA research funding for U.S.-grown organic food.
“The 2022 Policy Development session went very well with Montana's policy proposals finding success on the floor,” said MFBF President Cyndi Johnson, who represented Montana with Vice President Gary Heibertshausen. “There were 350 delegates representing 50 states and Puerto Rico, and we were all thrilled to be working together in person again to shape the policies of the American Farm Bureau. We had several opportunities to meet and network as presidents and vice presidents from around the country. We often find commonality in the issues and develop life-long friendships.”