American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention concluded Tuesday with a session on policy priorities for 2024. Key topics included artificial intelligence, labor, and crop insurance.
For the second year, delegates were polled at the beginning of the voting session regarding their farms. The results show 99 percent of those who cast votes operate family farms, and nearly two-thirds represent small to mid-size farms as defined by USDA.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says the farm bill is the top issue.
“Today, delegates demonstrated their readiness to seize the opportunities and take on the challenges facing agriculture,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “It’s crucial that Congress pass a new farm bill and address the labor shortage in 2024. The policy set forth by Farm Bureaus in all 50 states and Puerto Rico will guide AFBF in its efforts through the process. We look forward to making our members’ unified voice heard as they work to ensure a strong food supply for America’s families.”
Delegates also voted to stabilize wage rates for guest workers and revise H-2A and H-2B programs to meet the needs of America’s farms better. Voters reaffirmed support for increasing reference prices in the farm bill and maintaining a strong crop insurance program, including an expansion of eligibility to ensure more commodities are covered.
On foreign investment, delegates added policy to support additional funding to improve data collection on the foreign ownership of agricultural land. Delegates also voted to support the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. reviewing foreign investments in U.S. agribusinesses, natural resources, and real estate.
Delegates called for changes to the contract poultry pay system to ensure long-term economic sustainability for farmers and to require more transparency from chicken companies.
On trade, delegates added policy to recommend Congress investigate fertilizer supply chain outages and tariffs placed on imports.
Beyond policy changes, Duvall and Vice President Scott VanderWal were unanimously re-elected for another two-year term.