Nebraska Farm Bureau president addresses the crowd at last year's Annual Convention
STATE OF AG: Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson addresses the crowd at last year's convention.

Farm Bureau annual convention to tackle key ag issues

State of the ag economy, tax reform and food technology will be covered.

Delegates to Nebraska Farm Bureau's annual convention will form policy positions on several key issues affecting the well-being of Nebraska farm and ranch families. Farmers and ranchers will gather Dec. 2-4 at Kearney's Younes Convention Center to establish policy for the organization on state issues and recommend policy on national matters to the American Farm Bureau, which holds its national meeting in January.

"Our annual meeting is about serving members, and our policy development process is critical to bringing together the collective voice of our members to help shape the public policies that directly affect the livelihood and our ability to raise food for a growing population," says Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president.

Among the key issues for discussion at the convention will be the state of the ag economy, trade, tax reform, food technology and rural broadband.

"Net farm income in Nebraska has fallen substantially in recent years, and income for 2018 looks like it will at best remain steady to lower. Delegates will discuss policy regarding profitability in agriculture from a state and national perspective," Nelson says.

Farm Bureau has also been tackling the issue of property tax reform on the delegate floor, and this year will be no exception.

"Property tax relief and reform is still high on the minds of our members, and our delegates will further discuss what they would like to see done in that area," Nelson says.

Delegates will also consider resolutions targeting the labeling of synthetic meat and who should regulate the process  USDA, the Federal Drug Administration, or both.

"Nebraska is a beef state, and our delegates will consider a number of resolutions that examine the labeling of synthetic meat products. While our members aren't necessarily interested in banning these products, they are worried about consumer confusion and want to ensure the goodwill bought and paid for with producer dollars via checkoff programs isn't harmed by this new technology. It should be a very good discussion on the delegate floor," Nelson said.

Other issues for deliberation by delegates include topics such as private property rights and nuisance laws, the use of blockchain technology in agriculture, and the use of data to monitor and verify the source and origin of commodities and food from the farm through processors, shippers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers.

Outside of action on agriculture policy, attendees to the convention can attend breakout sessions designed to help farm and ranch families address operational needs. Sessions will cover the transfer of the farm or ranch from one generation to the next, trade deals, and the impact the next farm bill will have on the agriculture economy.

Nebraska Farm Bureau's Annual Convention will also serve as the backdrop for the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation's Grower's Gala event Dec. 3.

Source: Nebraska Farm Bureau

TAGS: Agenda
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