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A week’s events shows the value of Farm Bureau

Iowa Farm BureauOne quick glance at the pages of this edition of the Spokesman and it’s clear why it’s so important for farmers to band together in an organization like Farm Bureau.

An array of articles in this week’s Spokesman shine the spotlight on critical legislative and regulatory issues that will affect Iowa farmers’ livelihoods and freedom to operate for years to come. And Farm Bureau is fully engaged in all of them, making sure that lawmakers and regulators hear farmers’ voices and consider the concerns and needs of those who grow crops, raise livestock and care for the land.

A perfect example was at a hearing on the Renewable Fuels Standard, or RFS, last week in Kansas City. Charlie Norris, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation District 2 director, spoke up for biofuels and against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hard-to-fathom proposal to trim back biofuel requirements in the RFS.

The EPA proposal would basically lower biofuel requirements because petroleum companies have dragged their feet in building alternative fuel infrastructure. The proposal, as Norris pointed out to regulators, flies in the face of Congressional intent to increase consumers’ access to biofuels.

At about the same time last week, IFBF President Craig Hill was in Washington to verbalize to a U.S. Senate committee Farm Bureau’s support for repealing country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements for meat after they were rejected by the World Trade Organization. Keep­ing COOL around would surely open the gates for painful retaliation by Canada and Mexico, Hill said.

Fighting WOTUS rule

Also in Washington, Farm Bur­eau was providing strong support as trade proponents in Congress overcame opposition to pass Trade Promotion Authority. And the organization also continues to lead the effort to derail the onerous Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule put forth by the EPA and other agencies.

Farm Bureau continues to work with Congress to stop EPA’s blatant overreach, as Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation president, notes on this page.

There is no questioning that agriculture these days is traveling on a volatile and often difficult road on the legislative and regulatory fronts. But farmers need to remember they are not traveling alone — Farm Bureau’s got your back.