Delegates at the 90th American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting say the new Congress and the Obama administration need to take up proposals to address the current economic recession and climate change concerns. They also must enact policies on taxes and the environment that promote economic growth.
"Where Congress and the administration must propose and enact new laws and regulations to deal with our nation's challenges, Farm Bureau will work to ensure those new measures do not threaten farmers' and ranchers' profitability," said AFBF President Bob Stallman, "But rather, capitalize on opportunities to maintain a strong agricultural economy and bolster rural America."
Delegates reaffirmed their opposition to caps on greenhouse gas emissions that would drive up the cost of fuel, fertilizer and other inputs. They continue to support America's transition to energy independence and approved a policy supporting an increase in the ethanol-to-gasoline blend rate to more than the current 10%.
AFBF delegates also approved policies aimed at bolstering the rural economy. Included were improvements to the nation's infrastructure such as expanding broadband Internet access in rural areas and funding the Water Resources Development Act, which authorized construction of new locks and dams on the inland waterways.
Farm Bureau delegates also maintained their desire to see a permanent repeal of the estate tax and approved a resolution stating that the concept of "sustainable agriculture" should be flexible and recognize the benefits of accepted agricultural practices.
"Our nation faces serious challenges and our leaders must deal with those," said Stallman. "But in doing so, they also have opportunities to put policies in place on issues such as energy, immigration, taxes and infrastructure to make us stronger in the long run."