It’s hard to believe that 2011 has come and gone and the New Year is here.

Looking back, Farm Bureau had a very good year. We saw the success of some of our priority issues and the undertaking of several endeavors that are significant to the future of agriculture.

Looking ahead, there will be twists and turns in the road that awaits us, especially as we delve into the farm bill this year. But, knowing that Farm Bureau is on the right track as we head down that road, I am confident we will be met with success at the end. As the old jazz song goes, “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…and I’m feeling good.”

A toast to the past

It was a good year for Farm Bureau’s trade priorities. The Colombia, Korea and Panama trade agreements all passed Congress and were signed into law. Further, Mexico lifted $2.5 billion of retaliatory tariffs against U.S. farm products, and the World Trade Organization welcomed Russia into its membership. All of these victories will result in increased U.S. farm trade.

On the tax front, an IRS provision was repealed that will allow farms, ranches and other businesses to forego unnecessary and burdensome Form 1099 reporting requirements. We also achieved repeal of the 3 percent withholding tax.

Farm Bureau also supported House-passage of the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which eliminates the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.