Texas water, taxes top priorities for Texas Farm Bureau members
Monday, 19 November 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
Water, taxes and transportation are priority issues for Texas farmers and ranchers as the 2012 Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Resolutions Committee convened Nov. 5-7 in Waco. The committee reviewed and submitted policy recommendations for TFB voting delegates to consider during the organization's 79th Annual Meeting Dec. 1-3 in Waco.
More than 300 policy resolutions were proposed by county Farm Bureaus to be considered by the committee of 41 TFB members representing all segments of Texas agriculture.
As Texans continue to recover from last year's devastating drought, the state's leaders have placed a significant emphasis on water planning and funding. The committee passed a resolution that supports a dedicated source of revenue to fund the state's share of infrastructure projects in the Texas State Water Plan.
"The state water plan has to be funded. In the next session, that's going to be one of the top priorities," said TFB Vice President and Resolutions Committee Chairman Dewey Hukill. "We want to be sure that agriculture is treated fairly in whatever method they come up with in funding the water plan."
The top national issue of concern was the farm bill, and farmers' inability to prepare for the years ahead without solid, predictable policies. The committee passed a resolution in support of requiring future farm bills to be passed prior to the expiration of the existing law.
"The intention of this resolution is, if Congress does not get a farm bill done before it expires, we should still be covered with the existing farm bill," Hukill said. "It gets the discussion going on what we do if Congress lets the farm bill expire and they don't address it until much later."
Additional resolutions proposed changes to the organization's policies on transportation, federal farm programs and specific commodity programs.
Resolutions adopted at the TFB annual meeting become policies that guide the organization throughout the coming year. National resolutions, if passed by voting delegates at the TFB annual meeting, will be sent to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) annual meeting for consideration. Resolutions approved by AFBF delegates at the annual meeting in January will provide a roadmap for the national organization in 2013.