Texas Agriculture January 1, 2016 : Page 6

Farmers and ranchers focus on policy concerns said. “We want the landowner or ten-delegates to a second term as TFB Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) voting or any non-governmental purposes. The TFB delegation voted to sup-ant to give permission before a drone president. He is the 10th presi-delegates addressed eminent do-main, property rights, groundwater port groundwater conservation dis-can be flown over private property, dent of the statewide organization, and drone use on farms and ranches trict rules that respect a landowner’s and we want to make sure there are which represents more than 518,000 during the policy session of the member-families. He grows organization’s 82nd annual cotton, corn, grain sorghum, meeting in Arlington. watermelons and wheat, as Nearly 1,000 farmers and well as manages a beef cattle ranchers from across the state operation and a 450-cow convened Dec. 5-7 at the Arling-dairy with his brother and ton Convention Center. There father in Wilson County. were 799 voting delegates from Michael White of Wil-more than 150 counties partici-barger County was elected pating in the policy session. vice president and Robert “The overall mood of the Gordon of Dallam County delegates was positive,” TFB was reelected secretary-President Russell W. Boening treasurer. said. “There are always areas of Two new directors, Jes-Russell W. Boening Robert Gordon Michael White state and national policy that sica Richmond of De Leon President Secretary-Treasurer Vice President need our attention. I think those in Comanche County, Dis-areas of concern were addressed trict 7; and Scott Frazier of no burdensome and unnecessary reg-in a way in which we can make a right to a fair share. They also voted Corpus Christi in Nueces County, difference for rural Texas in the to support that landowners receive ulations for their use in agriculture.” District 13, were also elected (See In national policy, delegates voted story, Page 8). compensation for drainage of their coming year.” Delegates voted to support that brackish groundwater in regulated to support the inclusion of cottonseed The following directors were re-as an oilseed crop for the purpose of all entities with the power to obtain areas. elected to two-year terms: Gordon of The issue of unmanned aircraft, or government program determination. Dallam County, District 1; White of property by the right of eminent do-The policy resolution will now go to Wilbarger County, District 3; Mark main be required to have state and drones, was discussed. “There’s a lot of debate right now the American Farm Bureau Federa-Chamblee of Smith County, District local permits before acquiring prop-erty. Delegates also opposed the use about the use of drones on farms and tion (AFBF) annual meeting for con-5; Larry Joiner of Angelina County, of eminent domain for recreational, ranches. It’s a production aid that sideration in January. District 9; and Robert E. Reed of Boening was reelected by voting Matagorda County, District 11. environmental or private business, we’re seeing in our state,” Boening 6 J ANUARY 1, 2016

Farmers and Ranchers Focus on Policy Concerns

Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) voting delegates addressed eminent domain, property rights, groundwater and drone use on farms and ranches during the policy session of the organization’s 82nd annual meeting in Arlington.

Nearly 1,000 farmers and ranchers from across the state convened Dec. 5-7 at the Arlington Convention Center. There were 799 voting delegates from more than 150 counties participating in the policy session.

“The overall mood of the delegates was positive,” TFB President Russell W. Boening said. “There are always areas of state and national policy that need our attention. I think those areas of concern were addressed in a way in which we can make a difference for rural Texas in the coming year.”

Delegates voted to support that all entities with the power to obtain property by the right of eminent domain be required to have state and local permits before acquiring property. Delegates also opposed the use of eminent domain for recreational, environmental or private business, or any non-governmental purposes.

The TFB delegation voted to support groundwater conservation district rules that respect a landowner’s right to a fair share. They also voted to support that landowners receive compensation for drainage of their brackish groundwater in regulated areas.

The issue of unmanned aircraft, or drones, was discussed.

“There’s a lot of debate right now about the use of drones on farms and ranches. It’s a production aid that we’re seeing in our state,” Boening said. “We want the landowner or tenant to give permission before a drone can be flown over private property, and we want to make sure there are no burdensome and unnecessary regulations for their use in agriculture.”

In national policy, delegates voted to support the inclusion of cottonseed as an oilseed crop for the purpose of government program determination. The policy resolution will now go to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual meeting for consideration in January.

Boening was reelected by voting delegates to a second term as TFB president. He is the 10th president of the statewide organization, which represents more than 518,000 member-families. He grows cotton, corn, grain sorghum, watermelons and wheat, as well as manages a beef cattle operation and a 450-cow dairy with his brother and father in Wilson County.

Michael White of Wilbarger County was elected vice president and Robert Gordon of Dallam County was reelected secretary-treasurer.

Two new directors, Jessica Richmond of De Leon in Comanche County, District 7; and Scott Frazier of Corpus Christi in Nueces County, District 13, were also elected (See story, Page 8).

The following directors were reelected to two-year terms: Gordon of Dallam County, District 1; White of Wilbarger County, District 3; Mark Chamblee of Smith County, District 5; Larry Joiner of Angelina County, District 9; and Robert E. Reed of Matagorda County, District 11.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Farmers+and+Ranchers+Focus+on+Policy+Concerns/2369077/287394/article.html.

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