GFB Policy Development Committee meets
Georgia Farm Bureau’s Policy Development (PD) Committee held the second of its two meetings at the GFB headquarters in Macon Nov. 5. Every year, GFB members are invited to submit resolutions to their local county Farm Bureau on issues that affect agriculture and rural life. Those resolutions are then considered by the county Farm Bureau and submitted to the Policy Development Committee for further action.
The PD Committee is charged with considering each resolution submitted by county Farm Bureaus. Committee members debate the proposed resolutions, then adopt, amend, combine with existing GFB policy or delete outdated policy. Finally, a new proposed Georgia Farm Bureau policy book is recommended for passage at the organization’s annual convention.
“The policy development process is vital for our organization,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “It’s through these meetings that our volunteer leaders determine the organization’s legislative direction.”
The first round of committee work took place in early October, and GFB’s voting delegates will finalize the policy for 2019 during the 2018 GFB Convention in December on Jekyll Island. The issues that are national in scope will begin a similar process in December and be finalized at the American Farm Bureau Convention in January.
In its two meetings, the GFB PD Committee considered 180 policy submissions from 55 counties. The committee weighed whether to forward each submission to the voting delegates meeting.
The submissions included multiple resolutions relative to both state and national issues. The farm bill, tariffs, crop insurance, and trade were the top national issues as each of these topics have received considerable attention over the past year.
A wide range of state topics were discussed including the Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption (GATE) Program, Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA), and food labeling. The committee also reviewed numerous recommendations addressing lab-grown meat and right to farm laws. Among the policy submissions were suggestions aimed at rural development, healthcare, and greater access to broadband internet.
The GFB Policy Development Committee consists of 30 county presidents (three from each district), the chairmen of each of the 20 GFB Commodity Advisory Committees and the GFB Board of Directors. Also, included in this year’s PD Committee were the Georgia members of the American Farm Bureau Issue Advisory Committees.