The Holcomb fire and the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in retail meat prices, while the price paid to ranchers fell significantly. It was a topic that led to much discussion among the delegates, which resulted in new policy to help provide stability in markets.
Delegates supported policy to increase negotiated sales in fed cattle markets and called for increased transparency in livestock pricing, as well as for an in-house study on the issue of price discovery in the cattle market and other livestock species. Delegates also approved a TFB resolution supporting legislation and regulation that incentivizes the development of livestock and poultry processing facilities.
"There were several livestock topics of interest, but there were some specific livestock marketing issues that were discussed at length by delegates. These issues include the percentage of negotiated trade, transparency and those types of things. They've been discussed in past business sessions, but it's clear these livestock marketing issues were of high interest to our folks this year," TFB President
New AFBF policies on crop insurance include improving hurricane protection coverage under the
Farmer and rancher delegates approved a TFB resolution supporting perimeter fencing, as it refers to feral hog control, as an eligible conservation practice and activity under the
Delegates also updated dairy policy, calling for a re-examination of the 2018 Farm Bill's modification to the milk price formula and improving equity in
Revising the labor policy was passed by the delegates. New AFBF policy emphasizes the importance of reforming the H-2A program by expanding it to provide visa workers for both season and year-round employment.
TFB delegates gathered in
The policies adopted by the delegates will guide AFBF's work in 2021 on agricultural issues impacting farmers, ranchers, rural communities and consumers.
During the business session, Boening was re-elected to another two-year term on the AFBF Board of Directors from the
For the first time in AFBF history, delegates met and voted virtually due to COVID-19.
"Not very much has changed from the way we started adapting in March to all of the pandemic impacts and challenges. We've done a lot of Zoom meetings, taken advantage of the technology to stay connected," Boening said. "No matter what you're doing, you've had to adapt. And I think
Boening noted optimism in the agricultural community has increased.
"It's rained across much of the state. We do know that there's still dry pockets. Commodity prices have improved. So, I think the mood is good," Boening said. "There's a little apprehension moving into the new administration, but that's understandable. Anytime you move into a new administration, you have things to work out and work on."
Also, during the national convention,
The Pinnacle Award is the highest honor a state can be awarded for program and membership achievement. TFB took home category wins in advocacy; engagement and outreach; leadership and business development; and membership value. The award marks the second year in a row TFB has been recognized with the top honor from AFBF.