News and Commentary
Statement by Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Urban Ag Act of 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C., – "Regardless of where or how America's farmers and ranchers produce food, giving them the technology and tools to succeed supports our nation's strength and security. The Urban Agricultural Act of 2016 would do that for farmers in urban settings. As an organization that supports farmers of all sizes, commodities and production systems, Farm Bureau believes this legislation will build a stronger bond among all farmers--rural, suburban and urban."
"This legislation offers services and support to urban farmers. The research component of the bill is not only critical for production, but also for exploring the risk management, food safety, environmental and economic factors that are critical for economic success.
Farm Bureau, Other Industry Leaders Ask President and Congress to Move Swiftly on TPP Trade Agreement
WASHINGTON, D.C., –The American Farm Bureau Federation, the Coalition of Services Industries, the Information Technology Industry Council and the National Association of Manufacturers today called on the president and congressional leadership to work together to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement by year-end.
In a letter sent this morning, presidents of the four groups laid out the important benefits expected to accrue from the deal – an accord that will give American farms, ranches and companies access to nearly 500 million consumers in the Asia-Pacific region.
WASHINGTON, D.C., -- The Environmental Protection Agency has violated the personal privacy of tens of thousands of farmers and ranchers, according to a unanimous ruling issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
The ruling in American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council vs. EPA concerned the federal agency’s 2013 release to three environmental groups of a vast compilation of spreadsheets containing personal information about farmers and ranchers who raise livestock and poultry in 29 states. The case also related to similar personal information from farmers and ranchers in seven additional states that had yet to be released. The information included the names of farmers, ranchers and sometimes other family members, home addresses, GPS coordinates, telephone numbers and emails. EPA claimed that it was required to disclose the information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
“This was an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy by a federal agency in violation of law,” said AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen. “The court’s decision is a vindication of the right of farm families to control their own personal information. Farmers and ranchers have a strong privacy interest in their personal information, including their home address, even when they live and work on the farm.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., -- Organizations seeking to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency's and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' expansive "waters of the U.S." rule are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether the 6th Circuit Court is the appropriate court to hear challenges to the rule. The 6th Circuit earlier dismissed arguments that legal challenges to the rule should be brought first in federal district court and not courts of appeal.
"This petition to the Supreme Court is not related to the merits of our case and we are confident that eventually the 6th Circuit and the Supreme Court will agree that the rule is unlawful," said Ellen Steen, General Counsel of the American Farm Bureau Federation. "The petition was filed because the jurisdiction question is one that repeatedly arises in challenges to Clean Water Act actions.
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 23, 2016 -- A new poll from Morning Consult shows most voters favor fair trade – something all candidates should keep in mind as a congressional vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement comes closer to reality.
“Most Americans support free trade,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, “and most farmers do, too. Exports account for almost a quarter of American farm receipts, so opposing fair trade agreements like TPP doesn’t make a lot of sense to rural America.”
Among other things, the August poll found:
• Fifty-seven percent of registered voters have a favorable view of “fair trade.”
LEWISTON, MAINE - Farmers' Almanac, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, announces its search for three farmers or ranchers to be recognized as "Farmers' Almanac Farmer of the Year."
The contest, announced in the special 200th Collector's Edition of the 2017 Farmers' Almanac, seeks to recognize and share the dedication, hard work and contributions farmers make to our world and society. Stories of outstanding individuals who work hard to bring food to our tables are sought.
"We're looking for farmers and ranchers who have figured out how to keep their centuries-old, family run farms alive and thriving, as well as newcomers who may have just started out in farming or ranching," said Farmers' Almanac Managing Editor Sandi Duncan, Philom. "The people who work in agriculture are vital to our everyday life and we'd like to honor them in the pages of the Farmers' Almanac."
WASHINGTON, D.C., – For farmers and ranchers, immigration reform must balance agriculture’s need for a dependable supply of agricultural labor with enhanced security at our nation’s border. A new video produced by the American Farm Bureau Federation highlights those issues, but with political debate ramping up and no practical solutions on the horizon, farmers say important areas of U.S. food production are at risk.
Farmers and ranchers know that you cannot address immigration reform without tackling the issue of border security, said AFBF President Zippy Duvall, who recently saw the delicate balance between the two issues during a tour of agriculture and border security efforts in Arizona.
Across the nation, farmers and ranchers are experiencing a labor crisis. Reliable and skilled farm workers are harder to come by with each harvest season. And, without an efficient and legal way for a dependable supply of farm workers to enter the country, more U.S. crops are being left to rot in the field. That means consumers will be less able to enjoy American-grown products, according to the video.
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14, 2016 - Career and technical education and post-high school job training and retraining are essential to the economic viability of rural communities. For that reason, the American Farm Bureau Federation is urging congressional support for H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.
The bill reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. In a letter sent to House lawmakers, AFBF encouraged reauthorization of the bill. "A skilled workforce is needed in rural America, just as it is in urban and suburban communities," wrote AFBF President Zippy Duvall.