Resolutions Committee considers agricultural issues
Transportation, the right to repair agricultural equipment and ag liens were key areas of discussion as the Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Resolutions Committee considered proposed policy changes for the state’s largest general farm organization Nov. 7-8.
The committee of 41 TFB members, representing all segments of agriculture, spent two days reviewing, deliberating and consolidating more than 260 county Farm Bureau resolutions to both state and national policies. The approved policy recommendations will be considered during the organization’s 83rd annual meeting Dec. 3-5 in San Antonio.
Committee members proposed opposition to acquiring additional farm and ranch lands through eminent domain for construction of projects like the High Speed Rail.
“Farms and ranches and rural communities in Texas can be unduly burdened by projects like the High Speed Rail,” said TFB Vice President and Resolutions Committee Chairman Michael White. “Committee members proposed that if these type projects are approved, a number of conditions should be met to help ensure private property rights for affected landowners.”
White noted fairness in eminent domain proceedings is a Farm Bureau priority and will be addressed in the next legislative session.
Agricultural equipment is technologically advanced, and the right to repair that equipment was discussed during the two-day meeting.
“Waiting for an equipment dealer to diagnose and fix a problem could mean increased costs and time lost,” White said. “The committee proposed language for owners of that equipment to have the right to repair it themselves or by an independent repair facility of their choosing.”
The committee also proposed support for an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for the repair of agricultural vehicles.
A resolution was proposed in support of farmers having first lien on their commodity stored in a licensed and bonded warehouse—whether in open storage or contracted to be purchased when the farmer has not yet been paid, White added.
Additional resolutions proposed changes to the organization’s policy on rollback taxes for agricultural valuation, ad valorem taxes, chronic wasting disease in deer and the Commissioner of Agriculture office.
On the national level, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trade Promotion Authority and cottonseed designation were the top concerns.
“The resolutions process is a grassroots effort,” White said. “Texas Farm Bureau is effective because we are a unified voice for farmers, ranchers and the rural citizens in Austin and Washington, D.C.”
Resolutions adopted at the TFB Annual Meeting become policies that guide the organization throughout the coming year. National resolutions, if passed by voting delegates at the TFB Annual Meeting, will be sent to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Meeting for consideration. Resolutions approved by AFBF delegates at the annual meeting in January will provide a roadmap for the national organization in 2017.
The 2016 Texas Farm Bureau Resolutions Committee convened Nov. 7-8 in Waco to review proposed policy changes from county Farm Bureaus (CFB) across the state.
Row 1 (left to right): Russell Boening, TFB president; Michael White, TFB vice president and Resolutions Committee chairman; Bud Hardin, YF&R Committee chairman; Dan Smith, TFB District 2 state director; Ben Wible, TFB District 4 state director; Val Stephens, TFB District 6 state director; Neil Walter, TFB District 8 state director; Ronnie Muennink, TFB District 10 state director; and Zack Yanta, TFB District 12 state director.
Row 2 (left to right): Trent Cadra, Wheeler CFB; Landon Friemel, Deaf Smith CFB; Shane Harris, Childress CFB; Jim Blankenship, Lynn-Garza CFB; Tanner Smith, Floyd CFB; Keith Colteryahn, Cooke CFB; Steven Sparkman, Hardeman CFB; Glenn Thorman, Archer CFB; Lee Calvert, Ellis CFB; and Scott Renfro, Grayson CFB.
Row 3 (left to right): Eric Lum, Bowie CFB; Justin Mitchell, Smith CFB; Dennis Smith, Camp CFB; Terry Caffey, Concho CFB; Warren Cude, Pecos-Reeves CFB; Robert Atwood, Taylor CFB; Lewis Lehman, Brown CFB; Larry Hoelscher, Falls CFB; Kenton Lilie, Burleson CFB; Chuck Conner, Angelina CFB; Donald Sloan, Anderson CFB; and Bennie Whitworth, Rusk CFB.
Row 4 (left to right): Dietrich Gembler III, Uvalde CFB; Peggy Matli, Gillespie CFB; Wallace Brown, Fayette CFB; Larry Bumpurs, Montgomery CFB; Ricky Schroeder, Grimes CFB; Mike Brzozowski, Gonzales CFB; Dan Nunley, Calhoun CFB; and Lloyd “Bubba” Stewart, Live Oak CFB.