Iowa Farm Bureau members met in West Des Moines this week to develop the legislative policy direction on issues important to its statewide membership. 

The grassroots farm organization’s voting delegates engaged in a lively discussion on several issues, including the need for the accurate labeling of food products.  Delegates approved policy reaffirming that food labels should be factual and not misleading to consumers.  Also this year, members agree that conservation needs to remain a priority, and discussed support for working lands conservation practices.

“The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) annual, two-day Summer Policy Conference is the culmination of our year-round policy development process and provides our organization with a clear direction on policy for the upcoming year,” says IFBF President Craig Hill.  “IFBF’s policy development process is truly grassroots with active engagement, participation, and input from members in each county.  This process ensures a strong, unified voice on behalf of our membership to support a vibrant future for Iowa agriculture, farm families and their communities.”   

Members showed their support for livestock farmers and were adamant during policy discussion that food labels should be factual and not misleading to consumers. 

“We support truth in advertising,” said Jennifer Gardner of Van Buren County.  “Some people are labeling food to take advantage of the image of Iowa farmers and their ability to produce safe and nutritious food.” 

Delegates passed policy stating that the terms ‘meat,’ ‘milk,’ and ‘eggs’ should only be used for those actual products, in order to provide more certainty and clarity to consumers.

“We’ve got to make sure we get ahead of this issue,” said Monroe County voting delegate Bryan Reed.  “If we allow them to use our livestock labels, like pork chop and ribeye on lab-grown meat, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble.” 

IFBF delegates also reaffirmed support for working lands conservation practices, incentivized through federal cost share funding.  Cost share provided by the federal government on working lands will increase the adoption of effective conservation practices.         

The IFBF Summer Policy Conference is the final step of the year-round grassroots policy process in each of the 100 county Farm Bureaus across the state and leads the organization’s policy direction for the upcoming year.  National policies are subject to debate during American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) policy discussions, which will take place at the AFBF Annual Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 11-16, 2019.