Five Oklahoma Farm Bureau members helped set national Farm Bureau policy for the coming year during the business session of the American Farm Bureau convention Tuesday, Jan. 10 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The top issues monitored by OKFB delegates included policies addressing national farm programs in preparation for farm bill discussions that the organization anticipates will happen throughout the year. Resolutions passed by delegates updated the organization’s policies on several farm program areas, including crop insurance; conservation programs; disaster relief programs; ensuring environmental, social and governance scoring is not tied to farm program eligibility; and a call for increased funding for farm programs.
“The main focal point this year was getting ready for the farm bill that is supposed to happen later this year,” said Rodd Moesel, OKFB president, who served as an AFBF voting delegate. “There was a lot of attention paid to many facets from the crop insurance and risk management issues to individual commodity and conservation issues.”
Beef cattle and livestock marketing considerations were also a top priority for OKFB delegates along with climate issues, expanding and preserving trade opportunities for American agriculture, and requesting more research into carbon markets.
The AFBF business meeting allowed farmers and ranchers from across the nation to consider, discuss and vote on proposed changes to the organization’s grassroots policy. The changes the group adopted came from local Farm Bureau members from across the country, starting at the county Farm Bureau level.
“Part of what makes the national organization work so well is to have input from all over the country,” Moesel said. “Of course, we have a responsibility to make sure Oklahoma farmers and ranchers are represented and that the rest of the country understands the viewpoints from Oklahoma.”
Major County farmer and rancher Scott Neufeld was one of the five delegates representing Oklahoma agriculture at the business session. After taking part in this year’s policy development process, he said he has confidence in the positions he and fellow Farm Bureau members arrived at during the meeting.
“It gives me a lot of confidence to see the thought and the ability for anyone from every state to talk to any issue,” Neufeld said. “There’s freedom in that. There was a lot of input and a lot of discussion on a number of different items that were contentious, and I think we all came to some good resolution.”
The adopted policies will form the framework of the national policy efforts AFBF will undertake for Farm Bureau members in the coming year.