Public policy goals for 2016 were recently approved by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) board during its 97th annual convention in Orlando, Florida.
The four key issues addressed in the action plan are creating a more-positive dialogue with consumers about modern agricultural practices; protecting farmers' abilities to use biotech plant varieties and other innovative technologies; opposing unlawful expansion of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act; and moving forward with Congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States rule is still a top priority for many groups, including the AFBF. The AFBF believes it is unlawful because it will be in violation of the Clean Water Act.
"EPA's blatant overreach is nothing short of a federal land grab," AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. "The administration has refused to listen to business owners, local governments and lawmakers. The courts have ordered this rule temporarily stopped. The Government Accountability Office found EPA's actions illegal, and Congress -- which originally gave EPA its authority under the Clean Water Act -- called for an end to this rule. We won't give up until it's gone and farmers are free to care for their own land."
The action plan addresses issues about food safety as well.
"Consumers should have the confidence that their food is safe and wholesome. As farmers, we want the best for our families and yours. We've made great strides in opening up the dialogue to help consumers understand more about modern agriculture, but there's a long way to go," Duvall said. "All consumers deserve access to safe, affordable food and we will continue to protect agriculture's ability to meet that need."