As I write this month’s column from Washington, D.C., I can’t help to think about all the things happening or sometimes not happening, in our nation’s Capital.
Remember, Honor, Teach
As members of the Sons & Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, we have become involved with the - Wreaths Across America organization. Their mission, Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.
Remember our fallen heroes who gave up their tomorrows with family and loves ones, so that we can enjoy our todays. Honor those who serve, the men and women of the armed forces who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. Teach our children about the freedoms we enjoy each day, and the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms. Learn more about how to donate or volunteer at wreathsacrossamerica.org.
AFBF Board Meeting
Our mission statement: AFBF is the unified national voice of agriculture, working through our grassroots organizations to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities. Your board of directors continually works to achieve positive outcomes on our mission and our organizational priorities.
Our Guiding Principles: American agricultural producers are competitive, innovative and financially successful. Rural communities are economically strong and culturally vibrant. Consumers have positive opinions about America’s farmers and ranchers and the food, fuel and fiber they produce. Agriculturalists serve as skilled leaders engaged in Farm Bureau and in their communities.
Our Priorities: Passage of the Water Resources Development Act and reform of the harbor maintenance trust fund and the inland waterways trust fund. Passage of a new farm bill that meets core principles important to farmers. Defend the standards and incentives necessary to further develop the U.S. renewable fuels industry. Work to secure passage of legislation that addresses both long- and short-term agricultural labor needs. Oppose Environmental Protection Agency efforts to expand the scope of navigable waters subject to federal regulations under the Clean Water Act; oppose expansion of federal Clean Water Act permit requirements for poultry and livestock farmers; protect farmers’ tax interests in debates on fiscal policy and tax reform; and protect farmers’ interests in development of Food and Drug Administration food safety regulations.
Farm Bureau’s grassroots efforts are evident at our American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Resolutions Committee process. Our five subcommittees consist of the state presidents of our 50 states and Puerto Rico. Farm Bureau is a diverse organization representing all the commodities covering agriculture. However, we are also a diverse organization geographically. During this resolutions process, the East and the West, and the North and the South come together to discuss the 410 submitted resolutions from our 2,284 local Farm Bureaus concerning issues affecting their farmers.
The end result of our policy discussions at the AFBF Resolutions Committee will be a comprehensive set of policy recommendations, which have worked their way up from the grassroots and through the state Farm Bureaus, to be considered by 358 voting delegates who meet in San Antonio in January.
Sometimes the search for solutions on these critical issues aren’t easily agreed upon or achieved, but as an organization we address those together and work for what is best for agriculture as a whole. By working together we can accomplish more than we could ever hope to as individuals.
Farm Bureau will continue to be at the table every day of every week. Our process allows us to be at the table representing the beliefs of our members that live with the consequences and results of the legislation and regulations that are passed in the halls of Congress.