The American Farm Bureau Federation has released its 2019 strategic action plan, a set of policy priorities that will be used as a guide for strategic planning and grassroots activity throughout 2019.
The AFBF board approved the plan following delegate action during the organization’s 100th annual convention in New Orleans.
The five top issues are:
- 116th Congress: Build relationships to educate and work with members of Congress, with support from Farm Bureau’s grassroots leaders.
- Agricultural labor: Enact legislation that helps farmers and ranchers meet their labor needs.
- Infrastructure: Work for greater investment in rural and agricultural infrastructure, including broadband internet access; rural roads and bridges; inland locks and dams; sea ports; and agricultural research.
- Regulatory reform: Work for reform of the rulemaking process to ensure that federal rules are supported by science and created in a transparent manner, while identifying specific regulations and regulatory opportunities that improve the ability of farmers and ranchers to remain productive and competitive.
- Trade: Defend and expand trade opportunities for U.S. agriculture.
The AFBF board also approved a “watch-list” of issues that AFBF will monitor as part of its ongoing strategic planning process:
- Animal agriculture: Increase efforts to defend animal agriculture production and promote meat consumption, as well as work for policies to enhance animal ag producers’ productivity and profitability.
- Energy: Ensure policy that enhances the availability and affordability of energy for farmers and ranchers and encourages the growth of renewable energy production. Monitor climate legislation to ensure it does not unduly burden or restrict agriculture.
- Farm policy: Monitor implementation of the 2018 farm bill.
- Labeling: Monitor rules and practices dealing with labeling of food and agricultural products, including milk and milk substitutes, cell-based food and food containing ingredients that are products of biotechnology.
- Mental health: Promote resources for farmers and their families who are struggling with substance addiction, depression and other mental health challenges.
- Taxes: Continue working to eliminate the estate tax, promote other tax policies that benefit farmers and ranchers, and preserve the Unrelated Business Income Tax exemption that allows Farm Bureau to be a voice for farmers and ranchers.