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Published December 04, 2009, 12:00 AM

Minnesota Farm Bureau sets priority issues for 2010

During a comprehensive discussion and debate on November 20, voting delegates at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) 91st annual meeting adopted policy positions for 2010.

During a comprehensive discussion and debate on November 20, voting delegates at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) 91st annual meeting adopted policy positions for 2010.

Board members prioritized the issues to provide focus for the organization and its members as they work to implement Farm Bureau policy in the coming year.

“Farm Bureau’s policy development process began early in the year and resulted in a very productive Minnesota Farm Bureau delegate session,” said MFBF President Kevin Paap. “Farm Bureau voting delegates, farmers and ranchers from throughout Minnesota established our public policy positions on the issues facing agriculture.”

“Farmers and ranchers in Minnesota and across the nation are facing shrinking or in some cases negative economic margins,” said Paap. “Commodity prices are lower than a year ago while at the same time input costs for growing those commodities have increased.”

“Sustainability is directly tied to profitability,” said Paap. “In order for agriculture to remain a vital part of our state and nation’s economy, Farm Bureau will advocate for policies that positively impact farm and ranch profitability.”

MFBF priority issues for 2010 include the following:

Animal care

Livestock producers protect their animals from disease, predators and severe weather as part of their commitment to proper animal care. Farm Bureau opposes legislation or regulation that restricts or prohibits scientifically established livestock and poultry husbandry practices.

Farmers and ranchers throughout Minnesota and the United States are facing difficult economic times. Recognizing this, the voting delegates expressed their dedication to working to ensure that adequate credit is available for the purchase of feed and other inputs.

Food safety

Farmers and ranchers are committed to producing a safe and abundant food supply for all consumers. Farm Bureau will work to maintain and enhance consumer confidence in our food safety system.

Greenhouse gas

reductions

Farm Bureau voting delegates clearly indicated that any greenhouse gas reduction policies must, at a minimum, meet the following standards: recognize regional differences on how energy is produced; be affordable for all Americans; be realistic and achievable; and must have a positive outcome for agriculture.

Water quality

Farmers and ranchers remain committed to protecting our water quality. Farm Bureau delegates reemphasized the need for peer reviewed scientific data when addressing impaired waters and support for early involvement of agricultural stakeholders in the development and implementation of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs).

Renewable

transportation fuels

Minnesota’s renewable transportation fuels industry is not only a key value-added industry, but also a significant rural economic development driver. Farm Bureau remains a strong supporter of increased use of renewable transportation fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. It is essential that our state remains devoted to research and development that supports advancement of this industry.

Transportation

Moving farm and ranch inputs to the farm gate and commodities to market in a timely and safe manner remains a high priority for Farm Bureau members. In the upcoming year, Farm Bureau will work to obtain funding to upgrade rural roads and bridges. Additionally, as it looks to the future of Minnesota’s rail system, the movement of freight must remain a high priority. Farm Bureau supports the expansion and improvements to existing freight lines.

Minnesota Farm Bureau is comprised of 78 local Farm Bureaus across Minnesota. Members make their views known to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public.

Programs for young farmers and ranchers help develop leadership skills and improve farm management. Promotion and Education Committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom and safety education for children.

To join Farm Bureau or for more information, go to www.fbmn.org.

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