Rep. John Becker (R- Ft. Morgan) a freshman and member of the Joint Budget Committee told members at the CFB Legislative Conference that the ag industry will fare well in the budget cutting process in 2011. The committee is responsible for closing the $300 million budget shortfall facing the state this year.
Rep.. Becker and Sen. Hodge, both of the JBC speak to members about the budget cutting process.
“With a little argument, we were able to reduce the amount of money that could have been taken from the CWCB fund for water projects,” he said.
In the end, only $5 million out of a possible $10 million was diverted to the budget gap. Becker also told members that the potato inspection fund and the brand board fund will not be raided.
“Ag has been very well protected by the JBC this year.”
The JBC still has another $70 – 90 million to cut from the budget this year.
The 2011 CFB Legislative Conference is still on schedule despite the weather. While the wind may blow and the cold may bite, the driving should not be too bad. Members are invited to hop in the truck and make a slightly slower trip to Denver for the conference.
“If we could postpone the conference, we would,” said President Shawcroft. “Despite the weather there are pressing matters at the capitol and I would like as many members as possible to brave the cold and make it to Denver to speak with their legislators.”
We hope to see you at the conference. We know some of you wont be able to make it but we would ask, “What else are you going to do?”
CFB YF&R members gathered in Colorado Springs for their annual leadership conference this last weekend. With an unusually large crowd the conference was a fun an informative way to bring the younger generation of Farm Bureau members together.
“We had a group of about 60 which is really great,” said Jayde Van Cleave, CFB Regional Manager and YF&R Coordinator.
Collegiate and young farmers and ranchers from across the state took the weekend to forge new relationships and hone their leadership skills at the two day conference.They also learned the ins and outs of Farm Bureau and what they can do to advocate for the industry.
For more photos of the event, check out the YF&R Facebook page. Make sure to become a fan of the page while you are there!
The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture launched its new and enhanced version of “MyAmericanFarm.org,” a free online interactive gaming platform, that focuses on third- through fifth-grade students. The new version offers more agriculture-related games and activities for kids coupled with additional educator resources.
“My American Farm” was developed to engage millions of youth, teachers and parents through unique educational experiences, educator resources and fun family activities in an online environment.
“One of the main things we tried to do was not only provide these games, but also provide resources and ways to search the site so educators can find information easily by subject matter and agricultural themes and topics,” said Curtis Miller, director of education for the foundation. “We also have fun family activities for when kids come home from school and they have that time on the computer.”
Colorado was one of six state Farm Bureaus that were recognized for outstanding financial support of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. The awards were presented during the Flapjack Fundraiser, a pancake breakfast at AFBF’s 92nd annual meeting last week.
State Farm Bureaus receiving the Scholar Award, a new award, are: Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana and Nebraska. The Scholar Award is given to the six state Farm Bureaus with the highest total donations within their membership levels.
CFB President Don Shawcroft, Vice President Carlyle Currier, delegates Mike Mitchell and Phyllis Snyder capped a successful policy session at the annual American Farm Bureau Federation meeting on Tuesday.
The four successfully argued for policy forwarded to the delegate body by CFB delegates in November. CFB policy in the areas of elected officials, regulatory review and reform pertaining to the EPA, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Immigration was approved by the AFBF delegates.
It was supposed to be one of the biggest and most controversial issues in Farm Bureau policy this year. The showdown between states that supported the elimination of direct payments and those that favored keeping them was supposed to take up much time on the delegate floor.
Except that’s not what happened.
The much anticipated squabble over direct payments never really developed. The discussion passed quickly with most delegates in favor of keeping them in the mix of farm programs in the next farm bill. The delegates easily passed a resolution that called for ” a strong and effective safety net that consists of direct payments, crop insurance, and a simplified ACRE program.”
While the delegates refused to pull their support for direct payments, they did pass a policy stating that farmers must purchase crop insurance if they wish to be eligible for farm program benefits.
Yuma County Farm Bureau authored Colorado’s policy rejecting direct payments. President Nathan Weathers is not pleased with the short shrift given to that position as the delegate session.
“I’m really disappointed,” he said. “I think we missed a great opportunity to show both politicians and the public that we are committed to doing out part in helping to climb out of debt.”
Weathers says he heard from many producers at the Annual Meeting that still did not see the negative light that commodity payments put farmers and ranchers in.
“I heard so many people tell me that they ‘weren’t giving up their government payments’ I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
Iowa and Colorado Farm Bureau were two states that favored the elimination of the payments. Most southern suggested retaining them.