Texas water, property rights top issues for Texas Farm Bureau members
WACO, Texas—Brackish water, property rights and fertilizer regulations took center stage as the Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Resolutions Committee discussed proposed policy changes for the state’s largest farm organization Nov. 3-4.
The committee, made up of 41 TFB members representing all segments of agriculture, spent two days reviewing, deliberating and consolidating more than 150 resolutions to both state and national policies proposed by county Farm Bureaus from across the state. The policy recommendations will be considered during the organization’s 81st Annual Meeting Dec. 6-8 in Corpus Christi.
Delegates proposed to protect landowners’ rights by including brackish water as part of their right to capture a fair share of groundwater beneath their property.
“We believe landowners own the groundwater in place beneath their land and that includes brackish water,” said TFB Vice President and Committee Chairman David Stubblefield. “There are those who think brackish water doesn’t belong to landowners. This will be a big issue in the upcoming legislative session.”
Based on recent issues with government agencies, delegates placed additional emphasis on property rights.
“Farmers and ranchers who have purchased title and paid taxes on land should have priority standing in ownership disputes between parties, including state or federal governments,” Stubblefield said.
The committee approved proposals to enhance ammonium nitrate storage regulations, while keeping the product accessible and affordable to farmers and ranchers. They also supported training programs in areas where ammonium nitrate is stored.
Additional resolutions proposed changes to the organization’s policies on surface water, endangered species and the Texas Beef Checkoff.
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 2015.
The 2014 TFB Resolutions Committee convened Nov. 3-4 in Waco to review proposed policy changes from county Farm Bureaus (CFB) across the state.
Row 1 (left to right): Kenneth Dierschke, TFB president; David Stubblefield, TFB vice president and Resolutions Committee chair; Russell Boening, TFB secretary-treasurer; Dan Smith, District 2 state director; Ben Wible, District 4 state director; Neil Walter, District 8 state director; Ronnie Muennink, District 10 state director; and Darrell Bowers, Young Farmer & Rancher Committee chair.
Row 2 (left to right): Curtis Scrivner, Hall-Donley CFB; David Davidson, Childress CFB; Jeffery Carlson, Deaf Smith CFB; Dale Wilhelm, Castro CFB; Mike Smith, Dickens CFB; Herman Dentler, Baylor CFB; Dwight Siebman, Montague CFB; Bart Lawrence, Grayson CFB; Don Smelley, Parker CFB; and Kenney Bob Roberts, Wichita CFB.
Row 3 (left to right): Kevin Wilkerson, Van Zandt CFB; Caleb Ramage, Bowie CFB; Malcolm Williams, Smith CFB; Steven Hoelscher, Tom Green CFB; Bill Wight, Midland CFB; Margaret Ballew, Pecos-Reeves CFB; Robert Atwood, Taylor CFB; Phil Williams, Callahan-Shackelford CFB; David Bevels, Bosque CFB; Tim Tietjen, Burleson CFB; Harold Wood, Angelina CFB; and Bill Stanaland, Nacogdoches CFB.
Row 4 (left to right): Robert Dittmar II, Kerr CFB; William Richards, San Augustine CFB; Lee Wright, Frio CFB; Paul Zylman, Montgomery CFB; Timothy Gertson, Wharton CFB; Richard Beyer, Matagorda CFB; Clinton Shefcik, Jackson CFB; Zachary Yanta II, Karnes CFB; Cindy Flores, Kleberg-Kenedy CFB; Troy Nedbalek, San Patricio CFB; and Dane Elliott, Live Oak CFB.