NYFB Successful at AFBF Convention
Salt Lake City, Utah - New York Farm Bureau is looking ahead today to making positive change at the federal level for its farmer members following a successful national convention this week in Salt Lake City. More than a dozen NYFB members and staff attended the large event that brought 4,500 people together from every part of American agriculture.
The 105th Annual American Farm Bureau Convention that ran Jan. 20-23, showcased a wide range of educational programming, networking events, and thoughtful public policy discussion. This included delegates from every state Farm Bureau voting on public policy positions for the organization, including passing several that originated through NYFB’s grassroots policy development process aimed at better positioning farmers for the future.
Among the many new AFBF positions established this week:
· AFBF may now accept visa caps for a year-round agricultural worker visa program as long as they do not restrict farmers and ranchers from using the visa program and getting their needs met.
· Allowing all participants in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) to purchase locally produced honey, cider, eggs, dairy, maple, peanuts, pecans and USDA-certified frozen meat products sold at farmers' markets or certified roadside markets with SFMNP vouchers. (Submitted by NYFB)
· Supporting the creation of a permanently funded disaster loss program or insurance-type program for milk that will provide assistance when natural disasters or weather-related events hamper the ability of farmers to get their product to market. (Submitted by NYFB)
· Supporting a limit on how many times commercial vehicles have to stop at a DOT inspection checkpoint in a certain time period. (Submitted by NYFB)
Orleans County Farm Bureau members Jody Neal and his sons, Zach and Jayden of Albion, NY, were national runners-up in the Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. This is a business start-up competition, now in its 10th year, that provides opportunities for Farm Bureau members to showcase business innovations being developed for agriculture. The Neal family, who run a 600-cow dairy farm, received a total of $20,000 for their company Udder Ways, which developed an innovative device that improves sanitation and enhances milk flow as dairy cattle are milked.
“It’s cool to see the validation of our product and all the hard work we put into it. It’s nice to get some recognition, make these contacts, and see people get excited about it,” said Jody Neal.
“Initially we did design it to use on our farm. So, it has been great to see how it has worked on ours, and we are excited to put it to use on other farms to see the benefits,” said Zach Neal.
Tom Coene, an apple grower in Ontario, NY, and member of Wayne County Farm Bureau represented New York in the national Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet. This is a competitive program where YF&R members discuss a policy topic in a committee style format. This activity provides leadership development and strengthens communication skills.
The NYFB organization was honored with all four Awards of Excellence for outstanding programming in Advocacy, Coalitions & Partnerships, Engagement & Outreach and Leadership & Business Development.
Finally, NYFB President David Fisher, who serves on the American Farm Bureau Board of Directors, was also appointed to another term on the national board’s Executive Committee.
“This has been a great week for New York Farm Bureau. We celebrated members’ successes and had a voice in major policy positions that will help our farms move forward. I appreciate all the grassroots input that led up to this week. It is clear that we are stronger when we work together to support our family farms and the important work they do to feed our people and contribute to our economy,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.
For more information on policy development and convention events, please visit www.fb.org.
New York Farm Bureau is the State’s largest agricultural lobbying/trade organization. Its members and the public know the organization as “The Voice of New York Agriculture.” New York Farm Bureau is dedicated to solving the economic and public policy issues challenging the agricultural community.