AFBF adopts 2022 policy book, Duvall re-elected
On Jan. 11 during its annual meeting of the delegates, the American Farm Bureau Federation ratified its 2022 AFBF Policy Book, which dictates the legislative direction Farm Bureau takes as an organization on the federal level. The grassroots policy process, always an important one, is especially significant this year as 2023 farm bill discussions ramp up.
Additionally, former Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall was re-elected to his fourth term as AFBF president. Delegates also re-elected Vice President Scott VanderWal for his fourth term.
“Delegates from all 50 state Farm Bureaus and Puerto Rico came together to demonstrate the power of grassroots leadership,” said 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.”
Georgia Farm Bureau submitted more than 30 policies for review in the AFBF policy process – the second most submissions of any state. Georgia’s submissions covered a variety of topics, including the upcoming farm bill, COVID-19, tax provisions such as stepped-up basis, and commodity-specific issues. The majority of Georgia’s policies were either adopted or considered covered by existing policy.
Nationally, key policy topics ranged from milk pricing and beef market transparency to urban agriculture.
Long-standing frustration over imbalances in the meat industry led to calls for greater transparency in livestock markets.
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 voted to bring more transparency to the federal milk pricing system. Several changes to policy include support for a more consistent format for milk checks and a review and audit of the producer price differential on milk. Delegates also called for USDA to publish resources that show how each Federal Milk Marketing Order operates and differs by region.
Delegates updated policy on biofuels to include renewable diesel. The addition recognizes the innovation and potential that sustainable biofuels play in providing 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.
Recognizing the growth of urban agriculture and importance of ensuring the success of all forms of agriculture, delegates voted to create new policy to support its continuation and acknowledge its economic contributions.
Beyond policy changes, delegates also elected members to serve on the AFBF Board of Directors and national program committees.
The AFBF Convention featured more than 50 speakers and more than 4,000 registered attendees. Registered attendees may view selected workshops and sessions on-demand on the convention website until April 11.
The 2023 American Farm Bureau Convention will be held Jan. 6-11, 2023, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.