93rd Annual American Farm Bureau Federation Meeting PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Heather Lilienthal   
Friday, 13 January 2012 09:09

END TO DIRECT PAYMENTS, CHANGES FOR ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS FLOODWATER PLAN, AND CROP ESTIMATE TOOLS AMONG KEY ISSUES DEBATED AT 93rd ANNUAL AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION MEETING

Hill Elected to AFBF Board of Directors

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Jan. 11, 2012 – In a move which began with Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) voting delegates last year, the nation’s largest grassroots farm organization voted to end direct payments in the 2012 Farm Bill, during the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 93rd Annual Convention this week in Honolulu.

“Iowa Farm Bureau members took a stand a year ago and led national discussion on the importance of achieving a fiscally responsible position which acknowledged our nation’s budget concerns, yet maintained a safety net for our nation’s food producers,” said IFBF President Craig Hill.  “This week our national delegation of farmers agreed; the time is right to take a stand.”

IFBF farmers also led a national discussion on Missouri River flood control measures, the accuracy of the nation’s crop reporting system and conservation.

“Iowa lost more than 350 homes and suffered more than $207 million in damage when the Missouri River went out of its banks this year.  We’re pleased the national delegation recognized the need to encourage the Army Corps of Engineers to adjust their formula for retention of water for consideration of future weather events and the impact of people in these counties,” said Hill, an Iowa voting delegate. “Their release of overflow created flooding in 280,000 acres, many of which were not in the floodplains. The end result was total devastation.”

AFBF delegates adopted Iowa language opposing any linkage of crop insurance with conservation compliance, Hill said.  While Iowa farmers lead the nation in conservation, linking the programs could cause financial disasters for Iowa farmers, he said.  “Because of torrential weather events like we’ve seen in recent years, we also know that linkage of conservation to crop insurance simply risks too much at a time when the stakes have never been higher for farmers.  There are already 15 farm programs that link to the conservation title in the Farm Bill, so to deny crop insurance to farmers because of weather events beyond their control could put a farmer out of business in a single year’s event.”  Eighty-five percent of Iowa farmers have crop insurance.

Iowa voting delegates also led discussion to improve the way the government does crop reporting estimates, which are so influential on national and international markets.  Iowa farmers won agreement from Farm Bureau members across the nation to urge the National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) to use improved technology and methodology such as satellite imagery to estimate crop numbers, not just because it’s more accurate, but also because new technologies are more cost effective.

IFBF also received several awards during the 93rd Annual AFBF meeting in Hawaii.  Iowa President Hill was elected to a one-year term on the AFBF Board of Directors, and young Page County crop and livestock farmers Justin and Jennifer Dammann won Top 10 Young Farmer Achievement award honors for their knowledge and farming achievement and commitment to sharing agriculture’s message.  Iowa’s largest grassroots farm organization also received national Awards of Excellence in five categories including ag education and promotion, leadership development, member services, policy implementation and public relations and information.

For more information on AFBF resolutions, leader awards and to hear IFBF leaders discuss Iowa farming priorities, visit the Media section of the IFBF website, www.iowafarmbureau.com.

 

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