Thursday, January 19, 2012 — Blog by Farm Bureau Contributors
What’s in a name?
The name Farm Bureau means something across North Carolina and the United States. Farm Bureau is synonymous with integrity, family values, honest work and a tradition of service.
In North Carolina, Farm Bureau has emerged as a powerful force for agriculture and for our rural residents. As a leader in our state, then, Farm Bureau bears responsibilities to the people of North Carolina–and we take those responsibilities seriously.
Our primary responsibility–our core mission–was clearly defined in 1936. Farm Bureau is to provide legislative representation for North Carolina’s farmers and rural families. Every legislative session finds Farm Bureau staff actively advocating for member policy positions, which were formalized by the voting delegates from county Farm Bureaus.
We had a good legislative session during 2011. We worked well with the new leadership in the North Carolina General Assembly and counted several significant accomplishments.
Among the most important of those accomplishments was regulatory reform. The process was to primarily make sure that the state’s regulations are fair and no more punitive than federal regulations.
We also worked with other organizations to protect agricultural programs during tough budget negotiations within state government. We worked on a host of water issues, protecting the farmer’s right to use the water under his land.
We were instrumental in establishing the North Carolina Animal Ag Coalition. We protected present use value based taxation. We worked hard to protect private property rights. And we opposed the introduction of E-Verify at the state level.
We have been heavily involved in federal issues this year, as well, working closely with staff from American Farm Bureau.
Immigration reform is at the top of the list of issues we oversee. Let’s be clear about our position on immigration reform. Farm Bureau is not out promoting an amnesty policy, nor are we advocating policies that attempt to exploit a cheap labor market.
We believe we must have a fair, balanced and reasonable approach to immigration enforcement and immigration reform in North Carolina and the United States.
In preparation for the new farm bill, we met with commodity groups and leaders from across North Carolina to determine what would best fit our state’s farmers. We must have a farm bill that works in the new budget climate, that is equitable and works for all commodities, and that contains risk management programs that help producers manage risk in the event of catastrophic losses. Hence, a strong safety net.
As a nonpartisan organization, Farm Bureau stands for agriculture. We have the responsibility to speak for farmers and serve as an advocate for agriculture in North Carolina.
Farm Bureau will NOT shirk that responsibility no matter how tough the issue, no matter how controversial the issue, no matter how sensitive the issue—just as long as our policy supports our actions.