Farmers, ranchers establish policy goals during 90th annual meeting
(FRISCO, Texas)—Texas farmers and ranchers established policy to help guide the agricultural advocacy efforts of Texas Farm Bureau (TFB), the state’s largest general farm and ranch organization.
Policies regarding water, rail transportation challenges and natural resources were among those approved by the nearly 800 voting delegates gathered at the organization’s 90th annual meeting business session Dec. 3 in Frisco.
“Farm Bureau leaders from across the state set our policy goals for our organization for the coming year during the business session,” TFB President Russell Boening said.
Voting delegates discussed the 1944 water treaty between the U.S. and Mexico, supporting stronger efforts to ensure that water delivery to the Rio Grande and annual allocations are strictly honored instead of carried over into a five-year reporting cycle.
“This policy supports the U.S. to call on Mexico to fulfill its obligations under the 1944 treaty. The drought conditions and water scarcity in South Texas are causing major challenges for farmers and ranchers,” Boening said. “The lack of consistent water deliveries is impacting agriculture, and Mexico should be held accountable to fulfill its water contributions in a timely manner.”
Voting delegates discussed hydrogen energy projects, issuing support for state oversight of all aspects of the projects, providing landowner education and safety, and studying the impact of these projects on agriculture and wildlife.
Farmers noted problems with blocked railroad crossings and cited the need for local law enforcement agencies to have the authority to make stopped trains move to allow for access to properties that are blocked.
Voting delegates supported eliminating the oversize permit and the requirement for the permit to transport hay.
On the national level, delegates supported removing the U.S. from the United Nations (UN) because of the UN’s attacks on U.S. agriculture.
“The UN continues to make incorrect and damaging accusations about agriculture, especially with the latest call in an upcoming report by a UN agency for Americans to dramatically reduce its meat consumption in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Boening said. “Texas farmers and ranchers use climate-smart farming techniques and have continued to make advancements in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The UN is grossly misrepresenting the food system, and this is our members’ attempt to enact change.”
Also on the national level, voting delegates supported a resolution that would provide disaster assistance for poultry growers, along with a resolution that supports activities and legislation that discourages the unnecessary loss of productive farmland.
State resolutions adopted at the TFB annual meeting become policies that guide the organization in 2024. National resolutions adopted by the voting delegates are sent to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) for consideration in its resolutions process.
Resolutions approved by AFBF delegates in January provide a roadmap for the national organization.
Leadership elected to serve
Boening was re-elected to his sixth term as president.
Kevin Wilkerson of Mabank, Sam Snyder of Moran, John Griffith of Alto and Brian Jones of Edcouch were re-elected to two-year terms on the state board of directors.
Snyder was elected vice president, and Walt Hagood of Wolfforth was elected secretary-treasurer.
Three new directors were also elected.
Jared Blankenship of Hereford is the new District 1 state director. He is a third-generation farmer and rancher in the Panhandle. He grows corn, grain sorghum, wheat and hay and raises cattle. He also owns an ag construction company. He has been active in Farm Bureau for several years, serving as the president of Deaf Smith-Oldham County Farm Bureau and on the TFB Resolutions and Feed Grains committees. He’s also a graduate of FarmLead VI, an agricultural leadership program offered by TFB. He and his wife, Sheri, have two children.
The new District 3 state director is Greg Buenger, DVM of Newcastle. He raises bulls and replacement females, as well as a small number of show steers and heifers. He is a retired veterinarian. As a Farm Bureau member, he has served on the TFB Resolutions Committee and as a judge for TFB’s scholarship program, including the Rural Veterinary Scholarship. He has also supervised the Ag Safety Day. He and his wife, Anneta, have six children.
Stuart Traylor of Conroe is the new District 11 state director. He’s been active in Farm Bureau since 1973 and served as president of Montgomery County Farm Bureau since 1986. He has a small hay operation with his brother and works in the feed business. Traylor has served on the TFB Resolutions Committee twice and is active in state and national legislative advocacy efforts. He and his wife, Beth, have four children and 10 grandchildren.
Annual Meeting details
Click to view membership recognition, Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher contest winner, Excellence in Agriculture contest winner, Discussion Meet winner and more announcements from the annual meeting.
For more information about Texas Farm Bureau, visit texasfarmbureau.org.