Texas Agriculture January 20, 2017 : Page 6

Texas farmers, ranchers describe ‘united voice’ at Farm Bureau convention General farm policy and desired provisions of the next farm bill were key areas of policy discussion by Texas farmers and ranchers and pro-ducers from across the country at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz. Twenty-seven voting delegates from Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) were among the 351 voting delegates con-sidering national policy positions for AFBF. “We talked about conservation compliance and how it ties into our other programs. There was contin-ued policy support for getting cotton-seed designated as an other oilseed. That’s very important to our cotton farmers in the state of Texas, that cotton, in some form or fashion, be-comes a program crop again,” TFB President Russell Boening said. Boening noted there was a strong sense of unity among Farm Bureau voting delegates. “We had debate. We had differenc-es on some of the things, but at the end of the day, we realized that we do have to be united,” Boening said. “Whether it be different regions of the country, whether it be different commodities, in the end, agriculture does need to bring a united voice to-gether when we start talking about the next farm bill. People are ready to work together as a general farm organization.” Delegates addressed the issue of the right to repair farm equipment. They supported changes to federal law that requires agricultural equip-ment manufacturers to allow equip-ment owners and independent repair Texas farmers and ranchers help establish policy at AFBF’s annual meeting, setting the policy agenda for the national organization this year. Socialize. Discuss. Engage. J ANUARY 20 , 2017 www.facebook.com/texasfarmbureau www.twitter.com/texasfarmbureau www.instagram.com/texasfarmbureau www.pinterest.com/texasfarmbureau 6

Texas Farmers, Ranchers Describe ‘United Voice’ at Farm Bureau Convention

General farm policy and desired provisions of the next farm bill were key areas of policy discussion by Texas farmers and ranchers and producers from across the country at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz.

Twenty-seven voting delegates from Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) were among the 351 voting delegates considering national policy positions for AFBF.

“We talked about conservation compliance and how it ties into our other programs. There was continued policy support for getting cottonseed designated as an other oilseed. That’s very important to our cotton farmers in the state of Texas, that cotton, in some form or fashion, becomes a program crop again,” TFB President Russell Boening said.

Boening noted there was a strong sense of unity among Farm Bureau voting delegates.

“We had debate. We had differences on some of the things, but at the end of the day, we realized that we do have to be united,” Boening said. “Whether it be different regions of the country, whether it be different commodities, in the end, agriculture does need to bring a united voice together when we start talking about the next farm bill. People are ready to work together as a general farm organization.”

Delegates addressed the issue of the right to repair farm equipment. They supported changes to federal law that requires agricultural equipment manufacturers to allow equipment owners and independent repair facilities to have access to the same agricultural equipment diagnostic and repair information made available to the manufacturers’ dealers and authorized repair facilities.

Delegates voted against a resolution that sought to repeal the Veterinary Feed Directive.

Delegates also declined a resolution to separate nutrition programs and farm programs in the farm bill.

“We feel like we had a successful convention,” Boening said. “We were able to secure a positive vote on most of the policy resolutions that were important to us.”

Boening was reelected to another two-year term on the AFBF board of directors as a representative of the Southern Region.

TFB was also well represented in the Young Farmer & Rancher program activities.

Marcus and Amy Halfmann of Garden City were named among the top 10 finalists in AFBF’s Achievement Award competition. The Halfmanns grow cotton, hay and wheat and raise cattle in the Midland area. They won TFB’s Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher contest in December at the organization’s annual meeting.

Scott and Sara Holloway of Bowie were also named to the top 10 of AFBF’s Excellence in Agriculture contest. Scott is a sales representative for Alltech, an animal nutrition company. Sara is a mixed animal veterinarian at Cross Timbers Hospital in Bowie. They also manage their cow-calf operation and grow hay.

Brent Carlson of Deaf Smith County represented TFB in the Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet. Carlson and his wife, Joanna, own and operate a mid-sized grain and cattle farming business in Hereford.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Texas+Farmers%2C+Ranchers+Describe+%E2%80%98United+Voice%E2%80%99+at+Farm+Bureau+Convention/2692370/378248/article.html.

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