At the recent Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation's 94th Annual Meeting, voting delegates adopted policy positions for 2013 which the Board of Directors later discussed and approved.
"Farm Bureau's policy development process began early in the year and resulted in a very productive Minnesota Farm Bureau delegate session," said MFBF President Kevin Paap. "Farm Bureau voting delegates, farmers and ranchers from throughout Minnesota, established our public policy positions on the issues facing agriculture."
"Top on the mind of our delegates and members were the impacts of the 2012 elections," said Paap. "Roughly 30% of the members in the state legislature will be serving their first term. In addition, new committee structures and committee chairs have been announced."
"For 2013, the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives have combined the agriculture finance budget with the budgets for the Pollution Control Agency and the Department of Natural Resources," said Paap. "In the previous year's budget discussions, agriculture was a separate finance bill. There will be more players at the table as the state legislature and Governor conduct their budget negotiations."
"Our delegates and board of directors identified key areas for 2013: food, water, budgetary issues, regulations and engaging decision makers and consumers. Minnesota farmers and ranchers are dedicated to food safety, food security and food availability," said Paap. "We will work to increase the understanding of today's agricultural practices by sharing our commitment and our common values with influencers, consumers, regulators and influential customers. In agriculture, as in our families and communities, the best is yet to come."
Minnesota Farm Bureau is the largest general farm organization in the state. Members determine policy through a grassroots process involving the Farm Bureau members in 78 county Farm Bureau units in a formal, democratic process. Through this process, members make their views heard to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public. Programs for Young Farmers & Ranchers help develop leadership abilities and improve farm management. Promotion & Education committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom, and safety education for farm children. Farm Bureau is active in a variety of other programs and activities. For more information, contact your county Farm Bureau office.