The American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 99th annual convention Jan. 5-10 will culminate with policy discussions involving delegates from across the country, including nine delegates from Iowa. The delegate body will craft language on resolutions surfaced from grassroots members that will guide Farm Bureau’s national policy implementation efforts for the next 12 months.
Iowa’s voting delegates include IFBF President Craig Hill of Warren County, Vice President Joe Heinrich of Jackson County, District 5 Director Mark Buskohl of Grundy County, Joe Dierickx of Clinton County, Brian Feldpausch of Grundy County, Paula Ellis of Lee County, Larry Sailer of Franklin County, Matt Willimack of Clinton County and Bryan Reed of Monroe County.
They will advocate for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) policy additions that include language similar to resolutions passed by county voting delegates at the IFBF policy conference earlier this year.
One proposal calls on the USDA to examine Conservation Reserve Program rental rates annually to make sure they mirror, but don’t exceed, rates of comparable land nearby.
A new policy proposal in the CRP section would limit the size of pollinator tracts with an emphasis on smaller parcels and a cap on pollinator payment rates.
Delegates will also debate farm bill policies, including language focusing on improving the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) program to decrease disparities in county yield data used to calculate payments. The policy seeks to have Risk Management Agency yield data serve as the primary source of yield data for ARC-County or similar government programs.
Delegates will also discuss changes to AFBF policy on dairy and cotton programs.
Young farmer contests
In young farmer activities, Dustin and Shana Johnson will represent Iowa in the National Young Farmer Achievement competition during the AFBF annual convention in Nashville. The contest showcases farmers between the ages of 18 and 35 who demonstrate outstanding management ability in their farming operations and involvement in Farm Bureau and community activities.
The Johnsons, winners of the Iowa Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Achievement Award, raise corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, cattle and sheep on their Clinton County farm.
Justine Stevenson of Marion County will represent Iowa at the national young farmer discussion meet at the AFBF convention. She placed first in the IFBF’s young farmer discussion meet.