During the annual meeting of its voting delegates at the Commodity Classic earlier this month, the farmer members of the American Soybean Association plotted the association's policy course for the coming year during the open resolutions process.
This year's delegates tackled multiple hot-button issues, including the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in agricultural applications, and the stewardship data from the farm.
"The issues that face our industry change so frequently that we have to be adaptable and flexible," said ASA President and Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser. "This session enables us to keep our finger on the pulse of farmers in each state and adjust our policies so that we are representing our entire membership as effectively as possible."
FAA regulations by 2015
During the meeting, new resolutions were adopted to call on the Federal Aviation Administration to meet its September 2015 deadline for providing regulations on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in farming operations; as well as to encourage farm groups to work together to set industry standards on the collection, storage and stewardship of the data generated by precision agricultural instruments.
"New technologies have advanced our industry so far in such a short period of time," added Gaesser. "We rely on these solutions, but we also need to establish best practices to ensure the data they generate is managed in such a way that respects personal privacy."
Related: The Climate Corporation Addresses Farmer Data, Privacy
On infrastructure, ASA adopted a resolution calling for the continued maintenance of the waterways while also formalizing the association's support for new lock and dam construction on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, among other projects.