Illinois submittals up for debate at AFBF convention next month

The national resolutions agenda will include plenty of items, from the farm bill to endangered species and tax reform to trade. See which of IFB's priorities will be part of the discussion.

Illinois _submittals _debate _afbf _convention _next _month _1_636488667398282923

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. says he’s pleased with the number of resolutions that will transfer from IFB’s Annual Meeting to be considered by Farm Bureau delegates nationally. (Photo by Catrina Rawson)

By Deana Stroisch

Delegates at American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention next month will consider more than a dozen policy submittals from Illinois.

The submittals address various issues important to Illinois Farm Bureau – from congressional earmarks and farm bill priorities to a moratorium on additional listings under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  

IFB President Richard Guebert Jr., along with staff, presented the submittals during AFBF’s Resolutions Committee in Washington, D.C.

“We did very well,” Guebert said. “A number of our policies that the delegates talked about last week at annual meeting made it through the first round of AFBF resolutions. We’ll carry these on to Nashville.”

Guebert said tax reform, trade, regulatory reform and immigration reform also will dominate debate at AFBF’s annual meeting, Jan. 5-10 in Nashville.

IFB policies adopted into the AFBF Resolutions report include:

- Support for congressional earmarks with transparency.

- Support for the Harvest Price Option.

- Oppose public release of individual crop insurance indemnities.

- Support limits on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participation rates to avoid adversely affecting local farmland rental rates. Guebert said a number of states expressed support for this submittal.

- Support requiring seed for CRP program acres to be free of pesticide-resistant weed seed, such as Palmer amaranth.

- Allow all entities to receive Conservation Stewardship Program payments as direct deposits, not as System of Award Management (SAM) payments.

- Limit the size of pollinator tracts with an emphasis on smaller parcels and cap pollinator rates.

Guebert said he was asked to explain the submittal.

“I think our members are very supportive of pollinator plots, but for an individual to put a whole farm in that, is that the appropriate thing to do with such large acreages? We’ll have that conversation down the road.”

- Give farmers the ability to sign up once for the duration of the farm bill, assuming there are no (year-to-year) changes in the farming operation.

- Eliminate the requirement for reporting nonprogram grass waterways/fallow areas that are baled for forage;

- Support labeling that specifies milk is only a product of an animal’s mammary gland.

- New subsection created in the energy policy to support solar energy and state standards. “No discussion,” Guebert said. “Everybody sees the need. That was really good to see.”

- Support a more efficient process for delisting species that allows the agencies to achieve ESA’s stated objective – to recover and delist species.

- Support a moratorium on additional endangered or threatened species listing, including monarch butterflies.

- Support changing the focus of USDA’s foot-and-mouth disease emergency response plan from eradicating infected animals to implementing a widely available vaccination control program.

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