AFBF Delegates Approve Several Georgia Policy Resolutions
By: GFB News
1/24/2013 9:00:48 AM
During the recently completed American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting, Georgia Farm Bureau submitted 43 policy resolutions for consideration and several were adopted outright. AFBF's legislative agenda is based on resolutions approved during its annual policy session.
"Georgia Farm Bureau's Policy Development Committee did a fantastic job reviewing more than 300 policy submissions from the county level last fall, and we're pleased that a number of these were adopted on a national level by AFBF," said GFB President Zippy Duvall.
GFB resolutions that were approved concerned immigration and agricultural labor, foreign boll weevil suppression, farm bill commodity protections, the sale of unpasteurized milk and prohibitions on photography on farm property without consent.
The AFBF delegates approved a Georgia resolution calling on Congress to improve or replace the current H-2A temporary seasonal agricultural worker program with a program that allows farmers to obtain a stable workforce and provides a way for undocumented workers to adjust to a legal status. Recent laws in several states, including Georgia's HB 87, have resulted in disruptions of farmers' access to migrant agricultural labor. GFB has maintained that immigration is an issue that should be dealt with on a federal level.
The Georgia delegates were crucial in developing language acceptable to Georgia cotton producers regarding international suppression of the boll weevil. Georgia's boll weevil eradication program has been highly successful for years and has been used as a model by other states developing their own programs. American producers would like to see similar steps taken in other cotton-producing countries. AFBF will work to develop "a means to assure the boll weevil remains suppressed outside the borders of the U.S."
A statement supporting a revenue insurance program for peanuts was adopted. Additionally, AFBF's new policy calls for a farm bill with "producers being allowed a choice of program options." Direct and countercyclical payments are not mentioned in the new policy document.
There was lengthy debate regarding the sale of unpasteurized milk products. For reasons of public health, GFB opposes the sale of unpasteurized milk. The AFBF delegates agreed, and the language was added to national policy.
Activist groups have continued shooting and disseminating undercover photos and video on privately owned farms in attempts to sway public opinion about various farming practices. Delegates adopted a GFB resolution calling for laws to prohibit photography on private property without the landowner's knowledge or consent.
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