New national policies were passed and local Maryland farmers received top honors at the National Farm Bureau convention, which was attended by members of the Maryland Farm Bureau.
DAVIDSONVILLE, Md. (PRWEB) January 20, 2022
Last week, farmer and rancher delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 103rd convention adopted policies to guide the organization’s work in 2022. Key topics ranged from milk pricing and transparency from the beef market to urban agriculture. Meanwhile, contestants from Maryland Young Farmer, a county and a re-elected officer won their respective honors.
“Delegates from all 50 state and Puerto Rico agricultural offices came together to demonstrate the power of grassroots leadership,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “The stated policies will guide Farm Bureau in its mission to champion farmers and ranchers and build a sustainable future of safe and abundant food, fiber and renewable fuels for our entire nation and the world.”
Delegates also re-elected AFBF President Zippy Duvall and Vice President Scott VanderWal to their fourth terms.
“Not only are we proud of Maryland’s presence at the AFBF convention, and with our state’s nominees being among the best in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, we hope we’ve helped solve a growing national problem in agriculture,” said Maryland Farm. Board Chairman Wayne Stafford. “The AFBF delegation voted the resolution of Maryland’s wildlife management on federal lands into national policy – an issue worth at least millions of dollars. Besides the accomplishments of this convention, that was all just great to be together in person and see that Farm Bureau is going strong.”
The Maryland resolution requires the federal government to manage wildlife populations on federal lands in a manner that minimizes damage to crops and livestock on nearby private farmland.
Longstanding frustration over imbalances in the meat industry has led to calls for greater transparency in livestock markets.
As farmers’ union struggles continue, delegates approved additional policies that build on existing AFBF policies regarding the need to stabilize employees and reform the guest worker program.
Delegates voted to bring more transparency to the federal milk pricing system. Several policy changes include support for a more consistent format for milk checks and a review and audit of the producer price differential on milk. Delegates also called on the USDA to release resources that show how each federal milk marketing order works and differs by region.
Delegates updated the biofuels policy to include renewable diesel. The addition recognizes the innovation and potential that sustainable biofuels play in delivering environmental benefits while creating opportunities for American farmers.
As farmers and ranchers continue to increase their reliance on digital technologies, delegates voted to support raising the standard for federal broadband projects to at least 100 Mbps for uploads and downloads.
Recognizing the growth of urban agriculture and the importance of ensuring the success of all forms of agriculture, delegates voted to create a new policy to support its continuation and recognize its economic contributions.
Beyond policy changes, delegates also elected members to serve on the AFBF Board of Directors and national program committees.
Jennifer Cross of Maryland (Northeast Region) was re-elected to a two-year term on the Women’s Steering Committee, a national program committee.
Residents of Maryland received the following competitive awards:
- Kayla Griffith, Lothian, won third place in Agricultural Excellence, receiving a cash prize of $2,500 from American Ag, numerous Case IH gifts and $1,850 in Stanley Black & Decker merchandise.
- Katie Stevens, Frederick, qualified for the Discussion Meet semi-finals. To make it to ‘Sweet 16’, Katie first had to take part in two opening rounds where she explained how Farm Bureau can help farmers advance green energy and address some of the supply chain issues that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused in meat processing.
- The Garrett County Agricultural Bureau won a County Achievement Award for its work in organizing a livestock show that local youth prepared for. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the ability of the original hosts to stage one for the 2019-20 season.
Twelve other State Farm Bureau chairmen were re-elected for two-year terms to represent their regions on the board. Maryland is in the Northeast region, which will be represented by Rick Ebert, Pennsylvania, and Ryck Suydam, New Jersey.
The 2023 convention will take place January 6-11 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from farming, but who actively contribute and thrive through their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and participation in the Farm Bureau and other organizations.
The discussion meeting simulates a committee meeting in which active discussion and participation is expected. Participants are assessed on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic.
MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as a united voice for farm families in Maryland. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of more than 10,000 individual and family members who belong to the 23 local county agricultural bureau organizations. Since 1915, the Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and developing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. Learn more about MDFarmBureau.com.
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