The Right to Farm and Ranch Amendment, foreign ownership of farmland, a new transportation sales tax, term limits, a new state beef checkoff, confidentiality of crop production data and a legal challenge to California’s state law on eggs were among the major issues discussed this year at Missouri Farm Bureau’s 99th Annual Meeting. Almost 1,100 members representing Missouri’s 113 county Farm Bureaus attended the meeting at the Lake of the Ozarks held December 8-10, 2013.
Among farm leaders attending were those from the Audrain County Farm Bureau. Delegates selected by the membership not only approved 2014 policy for the organization, but re-elected the Vice President Todd Hays and four board members. One new board member was also elected.
Audrain County Farm Bureau members who participated in the Missouri Farm Bureau annual meeting include Joann Roth, Barb Wilson, Patty Fennewald, Susie Johnson and Michele Aulbur, Jeff Fennewald, Jerry Johnson, Brent Erisman, Tom Aulbur, Bruce Wilson, Darren and Robin Reynolds
Other issues delegates voted to focus on in 2014:
• Renew call for Congressional approval of a Farm Bill.
• Oppose making the state director of agriculture an elected position.
• Support state efforts to revitalize Missouri’s dairy industry (including programs to assist dairy farmers, enhance dairy consumption in school nutrition programs and the repeal of the “Unfair Milk Practices Act.”)
• Call for holding utilities to height, width and depth standards that accommodate modern farming practices, including subsoiling and chisel plowing.
• Oppose implementation of Common Core education standards at the state and federal levels.
• Encourage U.S. Forest Service officials to maximize their efforts in addressing oak decline within the Mark Twain National Forest that would optimize forest health while increasing rural economic growth.
• Urge the Missouri Department of Conservation to assist landowners in eradicating wildlife that damages property or threatens human safety.
• Oppose allowing third class counties to adopt county building codes.
• Support for Renewable Fuel Standards 2 as passed by Congress.
• Oppose allowing school districts to exceed 15 percent cap on bonding.
• Support for increased Congressional oversight of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service river mitigation projects.
• Urge the Department of Natural Resources to establish a streamlined process for declassifying waters that should not be classified under new classification standards.
• Support education and enforcement regarding stream trespass to promote respect for private property rights.
• Support banning texting while driving for all drivers. Missouri Farm Bureau’s complete 2014 policy will be posted online at mofb.org.