Georgia Farm Bureau board sets 2018 priority issues
At its monthly board meeting on Dec. 15, the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors approved the organization’s priority issues for 2018. The priority issues fall under four headings: Taxes and budget, natural resources and environment, defense of animal agriculture and general agricultural issues. The board agreed these issues are of particular interest to Georgia farmers, although it will address other other concerns that may arise during the course of the coming year.
GFB will continue to pursue tax and government budget measures that are favorable to agriculture. These include: preserving the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE); protecting the integrity of the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) from changes that would jeopardize the program’s future or undermine its intent; advocating for funding of agricultural institutions, agencies, youth development programs and their essential staff to meet the needs of the state’s farmers; and serving as an educational resource for farm businesses navigating complex tax regulation and programs.
The board agreed to support efforts to fulfill the agricultural water metering program’s original intent as a management tool for farmers on water use patterns and consumption rates without infringing on private property rights. GFB will work to ensure water legislation and regulations do not adversely affect agricultural water supply and enhance resources for implementing conservation efforts that increase efficiency and protect agricultural water access. The organization will work with regulatory agencies to develop strategies to protect land and crops from nuisance animals.
GFB will support common-sense policy to protect modern animal husbandry practices, support and promote biosecurity practices to minimize prevalent disease threats, limit regulation of animal agriculture at the farm level and work to educate consumers about animal agriculture while protecting farmers from misguided sensitivities the public may have.
The organization will seek development of adequate infrastructure and industry resources for economic growth in rural communities, as well as advocate for continuing access to new technologies and their responsible use.