Farm Bureau votes for higher benchmark prices, complicated position for livestock

ATLANTA – Delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2022 convention voted Tuesday, Jan.11 to urge Congress to raise the prices on which crop subsidies are based and took a complicated stance on the livestock trade.

Although the next agricultural bill will not be drafted until 2023, all voting members adopted a report from the Resolutions Committee calling for an increase in reference prices for all Title I products, an increase in rates commodity lending and payment limits for agricultural programs adjusted for inflation.

The Kansas State Sections and the Nebraska Farm Bureau proposed amendments to rescind the benchmark price increase proposals, but did not raise them during the working session.

The issue of benchmark prices was one of many in which there were regional conflicts.

Farm Bureau Chairman Zippy Duvall said final decisions regarding these policies will be made by the Farm Bureau Board of Directors.

Duvall chaired the meeting with the help of Alabama Agricultural Bureau President Jimmy Parnell, who served as a leader in the absence of Scott VanderWal, South Dakota Agricultural Bureau President and Vice President of the national group. Duvall told delegates VanderWal was suffering from COVID-19 and that he said nothing else could take him away from the meeting.

Delegates engaged in a lengthy debate over whether to support the proposal of Senators, including Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Deb Fischer, R-Neb., To require a set percentage of cash sales.

Duvall said the Farm Bureau board would decide its position on the Grassley-Fischer bill after comparing it to the Farm Bureau’s positions.

Delegates from the agricultural office review the policy. Photo by Jerry Hagstrom / The Hagstrom Report

Delegates adopted a resolution that the Farm Bureau supports the rights of producers and packers to enter into pricing formulas, grid prices and other marketing agreements and contractual relationships with the aim of “increasing the share. feeder cattle market negotiated sales with a central focus on price transparency. Delegates rejected an amendment to strike language that read: “Any government effort to increase the amount of negotiated sales should be regional differences All marketing requirements should be reviewed or removed to allow for a thorough cost-benefit analysis. “

Delegates from Iowa and Nebraska strongly supported the proposed fixed percentage of cash sales, while delegates from other states said they believed the proposal would reduce their income.

Delegates also passed a resolution that Farm Bureau opposes “government mandates that require any cattle slaughterhouse to purchase a set percentage of their live animal supply through cash offers.” But some delegates noted that the Farm Bureau supported the government’s mandate for the percentage of ethanol in fuel.

The organization also rejected a proposal to allow delegates other than farmers and ranchers to vote on political decisions.


The South Dakota Farm Bureau proposed an amendment in favor of mandatory country of origin labeling for beef, but it was rejected with a secondary amendment that would have stated that mandatory country of origin labeling should comply. to the rules of the World Trade Organization.

Delegates also engaged in a lengthy discussion on President Biden’s proposal to protect at least 30% of the country’s land and 30% of its ocean areas by 2030, also known as the America the Beautiful initiative. Delegates expressed concern that the land would be taken out of production, but disagreed on how to handle the situation, ultimately calling on the Farm Bureau to monitor the situation.

Farm Bureau delegates re-elected Duvall and VanderWall for two-year terms.

Following a procedure that was adopted in 2021 at the virtual Farm Bureau meeting, the statutes did not allow room amendments that were not deemed favorable to the original amendment. Some Midwestern residents objected to the proceedings, but did not raise the issue to the floor. Duvall said he would appoint a committee to determine the rules for next year’s meeting.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Duvall noted that he congratulated Biden on his election, but never met him. “We couldn’t have had a better person than Tom Vilsack to be secretary of agriculture,” Duvall said, adding that he communicates with the Biden administration every week.

Duvall said he was happy to be re-elected and that he “would like to do this job for a long time.”

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