Voting delegates at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation’s (MFBF) 100th Annual Meeting adopted policy positions for 2019. Based on these actions, the MFBF Board of Directors have provided focus for the organization on public policy, image and leadership including financial and emotional challenges, rural communities, healthcare, taxes, trade, transportation and food.
Farm Bureau will engage in early, meaningful, and ongoing involvement with the new administration and elected officials to ensure that agriculture has a seat at the table.
Financial and Emotional Challenges
There are many challenges out of our control that farmers and ranchers face on a daily basis. Farmers understand we can’t change what has happened in the past. But we can change how we accept and respond moving forward. To do that successfully, there needs to be access to tools, resources and support systems which MFBF will strongly advocate for.
The vitality and resiliency of strong rural communities is a priority for MFBF. This includes a strong workforce, educational opportunities through career and technical programs, and access to affordable childcare.
The opioid crisis is a serious problem for everyone in Minnesota. MFBF will continue to work on providing awareness and resources to address this epidemic.
MFBF will advocate for accessibility and expansion of high-speed broadband to all of Minnesota.
A healthy environment is important to the success of our communities. This is best accomplished through voluntary site-specific actions at the local level to protect and conserve our natural resources.
Affordability and availability of health insurance and the accessibility to healthcare providers is a significant concern for Minnesota farm families and small businesses. MFBF will work towards finding solutions addressing both high health insurance premiums and lack of availability to individual health insurance options. This also includes insurance coverage for mental health and addiction services.
MFBF will continue efforts to work on tax issues. Tax reform at the local, state and federal levels that recognizes agriculture’s unique financial challenges remains a priority for Farm Bureau. MFBF will also work with the legislature and administration to address tax conformity issues to ensure farmers and ranchers have a tax code that addresses and provides clarity and certainty. Property tax issues will also remain a priority for MFBF.
Farm Bureau will continue to be a leader in efforts to protect and expand agricultural market opportunities through new trade agreements and enforcement of existing trade relationships in order to strengthen our economy. MFBF will also work for ratification of the new United States Mexico Canada trade agreement.
MFBF will continue efforts to address Minnesota transportation infrastructure needs, especially rural roads and bridges so that products are able to be moved efficiently by river, rail and road. Farm Bureau will work to ensure Minnesota’s energy needs are met through investing in infrastructure.
Minnesota farmers and ranchers are committed to providing access to sustainable, safe, healthy food choices. Farmers work to continuously improve production methods and technologies. Farmers are dedicated to caring for their animals; managing and improving the quality of their environment; and enhancing the quality and accessibility of food and fiber they produce utilizing different production methods.