Proposed policy resolutions approved by delegates at the county annual meeting

View the resolutions below that were approved at the county annual and submitted to the state policy development committee to be considered at the Michigan Farm Bureau annual meeting. 

Contact the county office for information about the Policy Development process

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TitlePolicy
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999-County Specific ResolutionMonroe County agriculture is a large and viable industry. According to the 2012 US Census of Agriculture (the most recent official Ag census) in 2012 there were 1,144 farms in Monroe County. As reported in this census, these farms sold commodities during 2012 with a market value of $174 million dollars. Monroe County Farm Bureau recognizes the financial support the Monroe County Board of Commissioners make annually on behalf of our industry in Monroe County. We appreciate the investment they make to keep our 4-H program highly successful. According to Michael Bosanac, Monroe County Administrator/Chief Financial Officer, in 2018 agricultural investments on our behalf have been made for items such as: 1. MSU Extension including staff, building, expenses etc, operating supplies and grounds maintenance 2. Monroe County Conservation District 3. Spartan Ag Consulting 4. River Raisin Watershed Council membership 2018 Total for above $233,940 5. Additionally, this year $99,784 is allocated to the Monroe County Economic Development Corporation to support all businesses in Monroe County, including agriculture We therefore resolve to express our appreciation to the Monroe County Board of Commissioners for this investment in support of the Monroe County agricultural industry and our families in Monroe County.
999-County Specific ResolutionMonroe County Farm Bureau and Monroe County Environmental Health Department have provided two very successful farm tire recycling programs over the past two years. 1,383 farm tires were collected and recycled in 2017 and 1,193 farm tires in 2018. The large amount of tires collected indicates a major problem still exists in Monroe County with the number of large truck, tractor, and combine tires that remain. Therefore, be it resolved: That Monroe County Farm Bureau Board continue the large truck, tractor, and combine tire collection and recycling program for 2019. The Board should appoint a committee to continue working with the Monroe County Environmental Health Department, securing additional grants needed to continue the collection and recycling program for large truck, tractor, and combine tires.
999-County Specific ResolutionAgriculture is a major industry in Monroe County requiring skills in plant and soil science, precision agriculture, water management, entomology, plant pathology and business management. Monroe County Community College (MCCC) has partnered with Michigan State University’s Institute of Agricultural Technology to provide the education needed to develop those skills. Program Coordinator Andrew McCain has been developing a program for students to achieve a certificate from the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology preparing them for careers in equipment retail and service, farm operations, crop production management, crop service companies, crop processing facilities and more. Classes are taught at MCCC and students can work toward an associate degree. Therefore, be it resolved: We applaud the efforts of Andrew McCain, Monroe County Community College and Michigan State University to provide educational opportunities in the many agricultural industries. We implore Farm Bureau members to encourage students to enroll in the Agricultural Operations program at MCCC and take advantage of local educational opportunities in agriculture.
999-County Specific ResolutionMichigan farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin, which includes all of Monroe County, still have an opportunity to be considered for conservation financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers this funding. The funding is to be used to implement conservation improvements that will protect water quality and reduce soil erosion. Some practices eligible for financial assistance include cover crops, residue and tillage management, drainage water management, nutrient management and filter strips. In particular, water quality improvement projects adopted by farmers in these watersheds in LaSalle and Erie Townships could have a significant impact: Lapointe Drain, Wenrick and Cousino Drains, Wells Drain, Lakeside Drain, Muddy Creek Drain, and Sulphur Creek Drain. These drains all go directly into Lake Erie and affect 2,982 acres in Monroe County. We encourage Monroe County farmers to consider implementing conservation practices, especially those that are eligible for special funding.
999-County Specific ResolutionStates which have legalized marijuana, (Colorado, Oregon) have seen a 3% increase in automobile accidents over their normal trend lines and National averages. With the increased value of cars, increased cost of repairs; increased number of accidents, insurance companies will actuarially calculate the cost. Increased auto insurance rates will occur. States with recreational marijuana have seen an increase in workman compensations claims. Individuals who work for companies that do not drug test come to work under the influence, get injured or are less productive. They then require time off. The increase on workman comp claims has increased the cost of the insurance which businesses pay. This potential increased cost of doing business in Michigan may deter companies from locating here or companies to leave Michigan because of the cost of doing business. Due to the increased number of individuals unable to work because of positive drug testing or unable to hold jobs, there have been an increase number of Medicaid claims in those states with recreational marijuana. The increase number of claims cost the taxpayers of the state to provide Healthcare to these individuals who no longer have health care due to being unemployed. With the increased claims of Medicaid, which increase the cost to the state, the States are forced to take money away from other programs or increase taxes to cover costs. Increased taxes deter businesses from locating in those States. Businesses in states with recreational Marijuana are experiencing an increase of absentee workers. Absentees curtail productivity, which then decreases profitability of businesses. Homeowners insurance would not increase due to being located near a marijuana grow or dispensary. Their insurance rates will increase if there is an increase of crime in an area. Insurance rates are based by zones. If a zone experiences an increase in break-ins and crimes, there will be an increase cost on homeowner insurance. States have fell far short of tax revenues projections from Marijuana. Marijuana is federally illegal, which all transactions are cash. Banks cannot handle funds directly due to federal regulations. We have Volunteer Fire Departments. Volunteer firemen have full-time jobs some of them are required to have drug testing. If they test positive, it is possible to lose their job. These firemen, if they fight a fire at a grow operation, medical marijuana dispensary or someone's home who is growing marijuana, they have the potential of testing positive. Why would we put volunteers who protect our community at risk of losing their jobs due to exposure of marijuana smoke. Michigan’s economic recovery could now be ‘up in smoke’ due to these unforeseen consequences. Therefore be it resolved, Monroe County Farm Bureau and Michigan Farm Bureau are strongly opposed to the legalization of recreational marijuana.
073-Agricultural Drainage Monroe and Saginaw County Drain Commissions are piloting conservation programs in their respective counties. Working with Michigan Farm Bureau, Monroe Drain Commissioner David Thompson announced the pilot program at a public hearing for Plum Creek. The program allows land owners contracted with the Drain Commission to receive a discounted assessment rate for petitioned drain projects. The pilot program in Saginaw includes several conservation methods. Currently, Monroe is contracting with land owners with existing or installing new filter strips. The filter strips do not receive annual payments and are not required to meet NRCS standards. The goal is to reward landowners that reduce the sediment load in our county drains, creeks and lakes. Therefore, be it resolved: We applaud the Monroe County Drain Commission and Drain Commissioner David Thompson for being on the forefront of this innovative pilot program to reduce sediment load and improve the water quality in our county and Lake Erie. We encourage research into including more conservation methods into Monroe’s program.
065-Health States which have legalized marijuana, (Colorado, Oregon) have seen a 3% increase in automobile accidents over their normal trend lines and National averages. With the increased value of cars, increased cost of repairs; increased number of accidents, insurance companies will actuarially calculate the cost. Increased auto insurance rates will occur. States with recreational marijuana have seen an increase in workman compensations claims. Individuals who work for companies that do not drug test come to work under the influence, get injured or are less productive. They then require time off. The increase on workman comp claims has increased the cost of the insurance which businesses pay. This potential increased cost of doing business in Michigan may deter companies from locating here or companies to leave Michigan because of the cost of doing business. Due to the increased number of individuals unable to work because of positive drug testing or unable to hold jobs, there have been an increase number of Medicaid claims in those states with recreational marijuana. The increase number of claims cost the taxpayers of the state to provide Healthcare to these individuals who no longer have health care due to being unemployed. With the increased claims of Medicaid, which increase the cost to the state, the States are forced to take money away from other programs or increase taxes to cover costs. Increased taxes deter businesses from locating in those States. Businesses in states with recreational Marijuana are experiencing an increase of absentee workers. Absentees curtail productivity, which then decreases profitability of businesses. Homeowners insurance would not increase due to being located near a marijuana grow or dispensary. Their insurance rates will increase if there is an increase of crime in an area. Insurance rates are based by zones. If a zone experiences an increase in break-ins and crimes, there will be an increase cost on homeowner insurance. States have fell far short of tax revenues projections from Marijuana. Marijuana is federally illegal, which all transactions are cash. Banks cannot handle funds directly due to federal regulations. We have Volunteer Fire Departments. Volunteer firemen have full-time jobs some of them are required to have drug testing. If they test positive, it is possible to lose their job. These firemen, if they fight a fire at a grow operation, medical marijuana dispensary or someone's home who is growing marijuana, they have the potential of testing positive. Why would we put volunteers who protect our community at risk of losing their jobs due to exposure of marijuana smoke. Michigan’s economic recovery could now be ‘up in smoke’ due to these unforeseen consequences. Therefore be it resolved, Monroe County Farm Bureau and Michigan Farm Bureau are strongly opposed to the legalization of recreational marijuana.
073-Agricultural Drainage Monroe and Saginaw County Drain Commissions are piloting conservation programs in their respective counties. Working with Michigan Farm Bureau, Monroe Drain Commissioner David Thompson announced the pilot program at a public hearing for Plum Creek. The program allows land owners contracted with the Drain Commission to receive a discounted assessment rate for petitioned drain projects. The pilot program in Saginaw includes several conservation methods. Currently, Monroe is contracting with land owners with existing or installing new filter strips. The filter strips do not receive annual payments and are not required to meet NRCS standards. The goal is to reward landowners that reduce the sediment load in our county drains, creeks and lakes. Therefore, be it resolved: We applaud the Monroe County Drain Commission and Drain Commissioner David Thompson for being on the forefront of this innovative pilot program to reduce sediment load and improve the water quality in our county and Lake Erie. We encourage research into including more conservation methods into Monroe’s program.
002-Agricultural Innovation and Value-Added InitiativesMichigan Farm Bureau supports the recent formation of the Michigan Craft Beverage Council with PA 154 and 155. The new Council, formally known as the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, will need to set priorities for the beverage industries including wine, beer, cider and distilled spirits. This is an opportunity for growers of grapes, hops, barley, fruit, etc. to have a voice directing research dollars to benefit their respective industries. Therefore, be it resolved: We encourage Governor Snyder to appoint representatives from each respective industry to the governing board with recommendations from those industries and MFB.
547-Water QualityEPA reached beyond its authority as prescribed by Congress and affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Waters of the United States. (WOTUS) The agency’s refusal to define a tributary more clearly than waters feeding into traditional navigable waters leaves that would-be definition up to any one individual’s interpretation. EPA considers all ditches as a tributary. The South Carolina Federal district court ruling has implemented the WOTUS rule blocking the EPA rule that delayed application of the WOTUS Rule pending the agency’s ongoing consideration of whether to repeal the rule. Due to the court’s action, The EPA now defines “waters of the U.S.” so broadly that the regulated community has no clarity in determining what waters are or are not jurisdictional. By definition, the EPA regulators took control over every county drain, every farm ditch and every low spot that briefly collects rainwater after a thunderstorm. This court action now places Michigan farmers under this regulatory over reach. Therefore, be it resolved: • Michigan Farmers ask Congress to re-introduce and adopt the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015—(which already passed by the U.S. House of Representatives). • Congress and the Administration must repeal the EPA’s and the Federal courts egregious overstep and would remind and clarify the agency of its boundaries. • We demand Congress to resolve this issue.
239-National Farm PolicyProduction is audited when crop insurance claims occur. Audits, due to claims, create validity in the information, which is submitted annually. Therefore, be it resolved: • We strongly recommend that USDA – NASS utilize the risk management agency’s (RMA) crop insurance data which are actual reported yields. • We move to amend policy 239 National Farm policy with the additional language at 8. 1. 2 5 USDA -RMA (Risk Management Agency): “Data from farm operations that utilize crop insurance are not required to fill out National Agricultural Statistics Surveys (NASS).”
235-Conservation Reserve ProgramWhereas water quality and nutrient management is the focus in many watersheds throughout the United States. Whereas Conservation Reserve program (CRP) and Environmental Quality Improvement Programs (EQIP) filter strips are effective tools to managing nutrient runoff. Whereas the growth of plants and the decaying organic material in filter strips also releases nutrients. Therefore, be it resolved: • We amend AFBF policy 235 line 3.13 to include: “In watersheds of concern or impairment, that the plants grown in filter strips be removed at least once every other year. The organic material which is removed may be spread on an adjacent field or may be completely removed for other uses based on state determination.” • Amend AFBF Policy# 239, National Farm Policy, §7.2.4.5, by changing “The cap on CRP be raised to 30 million Acres.”
239-National Farm PolicyFarmers do a lot of paperwork. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires a large volume of paperwork. Therefore, be it resolved: • We recommend that USDA Farm Service Agencies eliminate the requirement of updating field maps annually if a field or farm doesn't change. • Accuracy of the field maps in the electronic system should be fully recorded in the office. • If a field or production practices have not changed on a specific site, the changing of acreage should not occur.
252-International TradeWe support American Farm Bureau Federation policy 252 international trade. We recognize the negative impact tariffs have had on the agriculture economy. We also recognize the effect of tariffs to get trading partners to come to the negotiation table. We support bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. We encourage open and transparent negotiations for fair and free trade. We respect the administration's approach of using tariffs and the proposals of tariffs to move and facilitate the trade discussions. Therefore, be it resolved; we encourage the Trump Administration and Congress to focus on quickly resolving these trade differences.
239-National Farm PolicyA nation that can’t feed itself is a nation that is insecure and potentially a weak victim to enemies around the world. Here in the United States, we have the ability to invest in ourselves and we’re doing that with the farm bill. We’re investing in not only in rural America in a variety of ways, but really investing in our own food security, which means national security. The return on the investment is an abundant, safe, affordable food supply. As of early August, the U.S. House and Senate versions of the farm bill, the “Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018,” differ markedly in several important areas; conservation appropriations, work requirements on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and constraining expenditures. Therefore, be it resolved that: 1. We support measures to compensate farmers for losses resulting from looming tariffs. Agricultural markets are already adversely affected by the early stages of a trade war that has resulted in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural commodities and negatively impacted commodity prices. 2. We support expanding the Crop Insurance program to insure producers are protected from potential losses incurred due to impending tariffs. Crop insurance premiums in the U.S. have annually exceeded the payouts to farmers for losses. However, this is an appropriation included in each farm bill but never expended for this purpose. Crop insurance only is effective so far, but is not applicable until farmers have incurred losses after the crop year. 3. We support increasing the Conservation Reserve Program beyond the proposed acres (House at 29 million and Senate at 25 million) to prevent overproduction of traditional crops and the deleterious market impact of the impending tariffs. We support amending AFBF Policy #239, National Farm Policy #7.2.4.5, by changing. “The cap on CRP be raised to 30 million acres. 4. We feel programs such as the Conservation Stewardship Program and Environmental Quality Incentive Program should not be reduced or eliminated, but expanded. These program payments help farmers engage in conservation practices at a time when farmers are experiencing operating losses. This will also help add protection from agricultural contributions to the water problems of the western Lake Erie basin. 5. In watersheds of concern or impairment, land that is enrolled in the USDA filter strip program, plant material be removed at least once every other year. This material when removed will carry nutrients that would otherwise be released back into the soil, as the organic material decomposes, and again become part of the potential problem.
225-Risk Management / Crop InsuranceWhereas: Risk Management Agency (RMA) is the regulatory agency responsible for the administration of the federal crop insurance program. Abuse of the Federal crop insurance program puts all producers at risk of losing federal subsidy which allocates a portion of the crop insurance premium. Congress makes the appropriation for the federal subsidy, however, they have not had to pay into the program because it has been self-sufficient since 2012. Therefore, be it resolved: • RMA remain a standalone agency and not be combined with FSA. • Eliminate crop specific prevent plant. • Work to curb abuse of crop insurance by producers
336-Agricultural ChemicalsWhereas: Roundup Ready II Xtend Soybean (Xtend) herbicide technology has allowed for another option to kill hard to control weeds. The requirement for an RUP license to apply the herbicide and mandatory training are now required. Fewer off target drift complaints have been filed due to better understanding and recognition of the importance of preserving this herbicide option by producers and applicators. Therefore, be it resolved: • EPA renew its approval of the Licensing of the Xtend Soybean technology and the related herbicides.
404-Renewable FuelsBy reducing vehicle exhaust emissions, ethanol fuels and biodiesel contribute to a clean and safe environment while also being an excellent source of renewable energy. Therefore, be it resolved: We continue our support of production of biomass products such as ethanol as we work to expand alternative energy options. Specifically, we support the retention of the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS), the sale of E15 year round and the establishment of national quality standards for biodiesel, renewable fuels and related products and the enforcement of such standards. In addition, we support an increase of production of ethanol and encourage the use of federal subsidies to help smaller biomass fuel production facilities stay competitive. We encourage the use of tax and cost-share incentives to aid in research and innovation to help said companies allocate new technology, update facilities and reduce costs in the production of biomass fuels.
999-County Specific ResolutionThis Monroe County resolution from the last two years has been addressed and is now included in the American Farm Bureau Policy # 536 / Proprietary Data. In addition to this AFBF policy, we locally resolve that each farm, and agribusiness, develop a written plan, in full awareness with all its employees and management, specifically outlining the appropriate response if, or when, someone (officially or unofficially) requests site specific management information relative to a field, or farm, in their operation.
999-County Specific ResolutionSlow Moving Vehicle (SMV) signs are being misused for driveway and mailbox markers. Let's insure that they are used for what they were designed for - to warn people of a SLOW moving piece of equipment on a roadway. Equipment traveling less than 25 miles per hour need a SMV sign. Misuse of the SMV sign could cause people to not heed the sign when used properly. Farmers also need to heed SMV signs by replacing when worn-out or faded. Be it resolved: We thank the Monroe County Farm Bureau Communications Committee and P & E Committee for developing the post cards for our members to place in the hands of "neighbors" who use the signs improperly. These cards are available in the county FB office and are downloadable from the county FB website. We encourage our members to use these cards to communicate when misuse of the signs is observed.