Citing "many serious challenges for Texas agriculture," the president of the Texas Farm Bureau has called the organization's voting delegates to Waco for the Texas Farm Bureau's 74th annual convention. The event will take place at the Waco Convention Center in Waco on December 1-3.

"Prices for many crops are better this year, but we can't afford to be complacent," said TFB President Kenneth Dierschke. "We still have to get a farm bill done, and we have some serious issues to address policy-wise before the Texas Legislature meets again in 2009."

Dierschke said trade issues, the Federal Estate Tax and regulatory issues would be among the top national issues of 2008, while eminent domain reform would be an important priority on the state level.

Dierschke said that voting delegates from the organization's 207 County Farm Bureaus will set Texas Farm Bureau policy for the coming year.

Dierschke, a grain and cotton producer from San Angelo, said farmers and ranchers will be meeting in Waco under far different circumstances than last year's meeting in Arlington. Only a year ago, the state was reeling from the effects of an extended drought. This year there was, if anything, too much rain.

"The drought was finally broken and in fact, it was practically drowned," Dierschke said. "One of the wettest years on record has followed the worst drought in Texas history."

Those rains, at times excessive, created problems for many Texas farmers, but have helped the yields of many crops and restored badly damaged rangelands.

The TFB will name winners in its youth scholarships contests, honor membership achievements, and elect its leadership for 2008 at the annual convention, where more than 1,000 voting delegates, members and guests are expected to attend.