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Grassroots Farmer/Rancher strength on display at Kansas Farm Bureau annual meeting
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Farmers and rancher voting delegates from the state’s leading agriculture/rural advocacy organization have adopted their policy roadmap for 2012 and elected their leadership.
The 93rd Annual Meeting of Kansas Farm Bureau adjourned with voting delegates adopting consensus positions on a wide range of public policies that impact the conscious choices Farm Bureau members have made to build their lives in rural Kansas.
The Farm Bureau delegates in Kansas adopted policy language on a host of issues impacting family farmers and ranchers that bolsters the organization’s long-held principles over taxation and water rights.
The voting delegates of Farm Bureau in Kansas:
* Adopted new language calling for school district patron approval of proposed increases in the ‘local option budget’ property tax to help finance public schools. The group reiterated existing long-standing Kansas Farm Bureau policy stating that new revenues to finance public education should come from sales and/or income taxes.
* Support a tax mix that would decrease the dependency on property tax and focus more on sales and income taxes for the support of state/local government. Reductions in Kansas personal income tax, or sales tax, should not increase further reliance on property tax as a revenue source for state or local government.
* Reached consensus on a policy providing greater farmer/rancher flexibility to manage his or her own water rights, specifically supportive of the concept of water flex accounts.
The policy resolutions adopted by voting delegates in Manhattan are now KFB’s 2012 policy roadmap for agriculture advocacy efforts before local governments, the halls of government in Topeka and Washington, D.C. The resolutions adopted are the result of a yearlong grassroots effort, involving input from county Farm Bureau members throughout Kansas.
Montgomery County farmer Richard Felts was elected to a two-year term as vice president of Kansas Farm Bureau. As vice-president, Felts will chair Kansas Farm Bureau’s policy-developing farmer/rancher Resolutions Committee.
Re-elected to the Kansas Farm Bureau Board of Directors were Jeff Grossenbacher, Nemaha County, Keith Miller, Barton County and Jim Sipes, Stanton County.
Newly-elected to the KFB Board was Cloud County farmer Stacey Forshee, who will represent KFB’s 5th geographic district of northeast-central Kansas. Joe Newland, Wilson County, was elected to a two year term to represent KFB’s 3rd district of southeast Kansas. Marieta Hauser, Grant County, was elected to an at-large position on the KFB Board on the capacity as Chair of the Committee of Farm Bureau Women. Hauser will succeed Helen Norris, Sumner County, who is retiring after years of dedicated service to Farm Bureau and agriculture.
The delegates were visited by a number of their elected leaders, who pledged to work closely with the organization on policy issues impacting their families and their operations.
U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran also shared a Congressional Proclamation honoring outgoing Kansas Farm Bureau vice president Edie Dahlsten, McPherson County, who is retiring from active leadership after years of dedicated service to the farm organization and to agriculture.
U.S. Reps. Lynn Jenkins, Tim Huelskamp and Mike Pompeo also made appearances before the delegate body.
Kansas Farm Bureau represents grassroots agriculture. Established in 1919, this non-profit advocacy organization supports farm families who earn their living in a changing industry.