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County Farm Bureau Leaders Take Part in Policy-Making Process

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Voting delegates Jean and James Priday, representing Farm Bureau members from Madison County, were among delegates attending Missouri Farm Bureau’s 95th annual meeting December 6-8 at the Lake of the Ozarks.  More than 1,200 family farmers and ranchers from throughout the state attended this year’s meeting.

With the many legislative proposals now before the U.S. Congress and the new government programs and regulations proposed by the Obama Administration, federal issues dominated the discussions of voting delegates in determining the 2010 policy positions of Missouri Farm Bureau. “More than ever before, farmers and ranchers are literally fearful of what the federal government is planning to do in terms of Cap and Trade, the Clean Water Restoration Act, possible government run federal health care and spending that is out of control,” said Charles Kruse, Missouri Farm Bureau president and farmer from Dexter, Mo.

Voting delegates reaffirmed their strong opposition to Cap and Trade legislation as well as the regulation of greenhouse gases under the Federal Clean Air Act to curb supposed man-made global warming. Long-standing policy in opposition to national health insurance, or what is currently called the “public option,” was reaffirmed. Members also believe improvements can and should be made in our nation’s health care delivery system, but they favor market-based reforms and the elimination of unnecessary government regulations.

The delegates adopted policy in opposition to expanding the scope of the Federal Clean Water Act including removing the word “navigable.” Language was approved in opposition to requiring farmers and landowners to obtain a Clean Water Act permit to apply chemical pesticides near water when products are applied in compliance with pesticide labeling laws.

There were many other federal policies addressed by the group, as well as state issues.  In reference to a proposed Humane Society of the United States ballot initiative, delegates adopted a policy stating, “We do not condone the mistreatment of animals in any manner whatsoever and support reasonable and proven standards; at the same time, we oppose any initiative petition or legislation in Missouri that would impose unnecessary and unreasonable regulations on the breeding and raising of animals.” Policy was adopted urging the State Tax Commission not to set higher farmland productivity values used in determining property tax assessments. Language was also approved recognizing the need to upgrade local 911 emergency response capabilities and assessing a fee on cell phones to support local 911 services.

Selected delegates from Missouri will present Missouri policy of national and international interest to voting delegates during the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Seattle, Wash., Jan. 10-13.

Madison County Farm Bureau members who participated in the Missouri Farm Bureau annual meeting include: Jean Priday and James Priday

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