The American Farm Bureau Federation wrapped up its annual convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, setting policy objectives the organization wants to see accomplished in 2023.
Some of the key topics ranged from expanding risk management programs and improving dairy pricing transparency to battling hunger. “There’s a lot of work to do in 2023 as Congress drafts the next farm bill, and the policies set forth will guide AFBF as we work to ensure farmers and ranchers can continue to meet the growing needs of families in America and around the world,” says President Zippy Duvall.
Sam Kieffer, AFBF Vice President of Public Policy, says the next farm bill was one of the top discussions.
“Heading into a farm bill year, our delegates held conversations on national farm policy, including being open to expanding the baseline for federal farm bill programs, as well as sending a clear message that we need to be developing more flexible risk management and disaster relief programs, and expanding protection to growers of specialty crops all across the country.”
Following an AFBF forum last fall that united the dairy industry, delegates also voted to pursue Federal Milk Marketing Order reforms.
Kieffer; “Our delegates also called for more transparency in dairy and the Federal Milk Marketing Orders. And several of the changes around dairy include supporting more USDA audits on the processing costs of milk to ensure that the data remains accurate. Making sure that when there are votes in the Federal Milk Marketing Orders that the cooperatives clearly communicate with their members regarding proposed changes.”
Other priorities include addressing food insecurity and trade according to Kieffer. “Our delegates took a position to expand food access programs that connect farms directly with foodbanks. On trade, our delegates sent a clear message to USDA asking them to continue working with Mexico and the Mexican government to drop the proposed ban on GM products and relying on the details of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement when it comes to sound science.”
Voting delegates also formalized the organization’s opposition to the new Waters of the U.S. rule and a potential Mexican ban on GMO corn.