Delegates at Texas Farm Bureau’s 76th annual meeting expressed a vote of confidence in Kenneth Dierschke, electing him to his 8th consecutive term as president in a contested election against vice president Bobby Nedbalek.
“We’ve put our hearts and souls into this job because like you, we are a part of agriculture,” Dierschke said, acknowledging the partnership of his wife, Binnie. “We look forward to another successful year working with the membership of the Texas Farm Bureau.”
In other action, concern over climate change legislation drove delegates to oppose any law that regulates carbon emissions.
“Our members view ‘cap and trade’ legislation currently being considered in Washington, D.C., as little more than a huge tax increase for our nation,” Dierschke said. “By driving the cost of energy higher, it will increase the cost of growing food, fuel and fiber not only for Texas, but our nation.”
Besides opposing the selling, buying and trading of carbon credits, delegates strongly opposed any methane or greenhouse tax levied on livestock and/or wildlife because of natural biological functions.
In addition, delegates opposed:
• Any greenhouse gas legislation until other countries meet or exceed U.S. requirements
• Any effort to tax, regulate or limit agriculture production based on perceived pollutants contributing to global warming. They said any such effort should require an environmental impact statement providing a cost-benefit analysis.
Delegates also emphasized a permanent repeal of the federal estate tax, which in many cases has the potential to break up farms and ranches to satisfy federal obligations upon the death of the owner.
Until permanent repeal is achieved, delegates suggested the exemption should be increased to $3.5 million or greater per person and indexed to inflation. They also supported legislation that would, in the interim, permit farms and ranches to be passed on to heirs without any estate taxes as long as the property remains in agriculture.
At the conclusion of the convention, the Texas Farm Bureau board of directors elected Dewey Hukill of Olton as vice president and Raymond Meyer of Pleasanton as secretary-treasurer.
Two new directors were elected to the board. Dave Edmiston, a third generation rancher with a cow/calf and hay operation near Brady, replaced retiring District 7 state director Lewis Lehman. Dale Murden, a sugar, citrus, grain, vegetable and soybean producer from Mission, replaced retiring District 13 state director and vice president Bobby Nedbalek.
Also reelected to the TFB Board were: Billy Bob Brown for his third two-year term, District 1; Larry Pratt for his third two-year term, District 3; Dan Shelton for his second two-year term, District 5; Jay Snook for his second two-year term, District 9; and Tom Paben for his third two-year term, District 11.