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Farm Bureau Leaders Take Part in Policy-Making Process

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.-Reforming the initiative petition process in the state of Missouri was among the policy positions Missouri Farm Bureau members debated at the 97th annual meeting of the organization held December 3-6 at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The meeting attracted nearly 1,400 farmers and ranchers, among them farm leaders from the Madison County Farm Bureau. Madison County Farm Bureau members who participated in the Missouri Farm Bureau annual meeting include: Dennis Bradford, Kay Bradford, Jean Priday and James Priday.

Delegates selected by the membership adopted a wide range of policy positions for 2012, re-elected the vice president and three board members, and elected new members to the Board of Directors.

Voting delegates debated and approved the organization’s position on policy issues for state and national legislative efforts. Reforming the initiative petition process in Missouri led the state discussions. This reform supports Missouri Farm Bureau’s position on a 2012 ballot proposal initiated by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The Missouri Farm Bureau opposes this ballot initiative, which would require at least a three-fourths supermajority vote by the state legislature to amend any statute enacted by voter-approved ballot initiative.

Delegates called attention to the disproportionate amount of funding spent by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for environmental restoration projects rather than flood control.  They agreed the highest budget priorities of the Corps should be levee construction and rehabilitation, bank stabilization and channel maintenance. In addition, delegates reaffirmed support of existing federal child labor laws, which specify and provide opportunities for young people of proper age to perform certain agriculture jobs. For more on these and other policy issues go to mofb.org.

Todd Hays, a farmer from Monroe City, Mo., was re-elected to his first full term as vice president. Initially elected last year, Hays served a partial term. Denny Mertz from St. Louis County and Allen Rowland from Stoddard County were re-elected to board. Barbara Wilson of Mexico, Mo., was re-elected to the North District at Large position. New board members are Lane Baxter from Greene County and Charles Bassett from Pulaski County. In addition, Brian Marshall of Maysville, Mo., will serve as the 2012 Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee chairman and board advisory member.

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