Funding the Beef Checkoff and transportation issues emerged as top priorities when the Texas Farm Bureau Resolutions Committee met in Waco, Nov. 12 and 13, to sift through hundreds of policy resolutions submitted by County Farm Bureaus. The committee streamlined the resolutions for voting delegates who will take action at the TFB state convention in Waco, Dec. 1-3.
Noting that funding commodity promotion programs is important to Farm Bureau members, TFB Vice President Bobby Nedbalek of Sinton said the committee voted to increase the Beef Promotion and Research Checkoff from $1 to $2 per head to offset the effects of inflation. The $1 per head beef promotion program was started in 1985. The committee also supported a corresponding increase for imported boxed beef.
“We’ve seen the benefits we’ve received from the Checkoff as it has been and feel justified to increase the Checkoff contribution to do more promotion of beef,” Nedbalek, the committee chair, said. “We realize how much good commodity promotion programs have done in the past and we’re looking forward to the challenges to market our products in the future.”
The committee also noted potential effects of the Trans-Texas Corridor and other toll roads on the future of transportation in Texas, and addressed those concerns. They supported increasing or indexing dedicated taxes for construction and improvement on non-toll roads.
“We’re seeing all of the major highways across the state needing their maintenance costs to be taken care of by some means,” Nedbalek said of the delegates’ intent. “As we develop new highways and new interchanges, we have used up a lot of those funds. We don’t have the surplus of funding in the transportation system now to accommodate our growth and maintenance.”
Other resolutions set for consideration at the state convention would:
· Request immediate funding to eliminate fever ticks from the temporary preventive quarantine areas in Texas and to prevent their spread throughout the U.S.
· Support the use of state funds for maintaining small watershed flood control structures built under the USDA PL-566 program that are listed as public safety concerns.
· Address right-to-farm laws, noting that anyone moving into a farming area should not have the right to sue an agriculture producer because of dust, noise, odors or drift so long as the property had been in operation before the new resident moved in.
· Support tightening requirements to qualify for wildlife management valuation for property taxes.
Those resolutions that will advance to AFBF delegates for consideration at the national convention in New Orleans, La., in January include:
· Support any means to challenge and reverse the Supreme Court ruling on Kelo vs. City of New London.
· Support retaining the safety net provisions and disaster provisions in the 2007 Farm Bill.
· Oppose expansion of federal control of streams under the Clean Water Act.
Resolutions adopted at the Texas Farm Bureau state convention become policy that guides the organization throughout the coming year. Those resolutions approved by AFBF delegates in January will provide a roadmap for the national organization in 2008.