You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Dierschke addresses Farm Bureau members
WACO -- The farm and ranch families of rural Texas face a crucial time of great risk -- and abundant opportunity -- the president of the Texas Farm Bureau said during his address at the organization’s 77th annual convention, according to a Dec. 5 Texas Farm Bureau press release.
“It is a time of potential danger and enormous expectations, a time of great challenge and potential reward,” Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke said. “It’s a time to reclaim the good name of farmers and ranchers that some seek to destroy, a time for leadership and commitment, a time for positive change.”
Dierschke addressed the Texas Farm Bureau’s assembly of delegates in Waco, the hometown of the Texas Farm Bureau. He recognized a year of remarkable achievement, noting the organization today has more than 450,000 member families, and acknowledged the hard work that lies ahead in both Austin and Washington, D.C.
Eminent domain reform remains the number one priority of the organization’s members. Over the past two sessions, reform legislation failed to become law despite overwhelming public and legislative support. Similar legislation has already been pre-filed for the upcoming session.
“We understand that eminent domain reform will be designated as an emergency item, assuring quick passage,” Dierschke said. “Governor Perry has promised his signature on a bill we have already agreed upon. With the passage of meaningful eminent domain reform, Texans can say with pride that property rights here are now a fact -- not rhetoric. Without Farm Bureau’s devotion to achieving this goal, it would not have happened.” The 2011 session could also yield some landmark decisions on water policy. At stake are cornerstones of Texas water law such right of capture, local control, and historical use. All will be up for debate.
Recent election results will provide yet another challenge. There will be a massive influx of freshman members on Capitol Hill. In Texas, too, many new faces will grace the House chambers.
“We must explain the importance of agriculture to the nation. The ability of America to feed and clothe itself -- without depending on foreign nations -- is not about left or right,” Dierschke said. “It’s not a political viewpoint. It’s about the cold, hard reality of keeping enough farmers and ranchers on the land to do the job.”
Opening trade with Cuba, immigration reform, and the 2012 farm bill will be on the agenda as the new Congress convenes, as will the need to address a ballooning budget deficit.
“Clearly, all segments of the budget are subject to cuts. We cannot expect that agriculture be spared,” Dierschke stressed to the delegates. “But, if we think of the federal budget as a gigantic, gas-guzzling SUV, doing completely away with payments to farmers would scarcely scratch the paint. We’re talking about less than one-half of one percent of the federal budget.”
Dierschke noted the ever-increasing attacks on the image of agriculture from extremist groups. He stressed that an overwhelming majority of animal farmers and ranchers hold high standards of animal welfare and don’t condone or defend animal abuse. He also said that farm and ranch families hold themselves to a high standard in taking care of the land, air, and water of rural America.
Dierschke encouraged the Texas Farm Bureau members to defend agriculture and to stand their ground against those who deal in false information or encourage overregulation.
“There have been growing pains as we’ve adapted to these changes in agriculture and in our membership. But we represent them all -- and more,” Dierschke said. “These changes are not to be feared, but embraced as a way to make Farm Bureau better, bigger, stronger, and even more capable of meeting the challenges that face rural Texas. This is Farm Bureau’s time, a time to make a difference for Texas and America.”
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Add some ‘glads’ to your garden (June 29, 2016)
County Farm Bureau: Giving back to the community, more (June 29, 2016)
Dr. Johnson receives Honorary FFA degree (June 29, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 29, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 29, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 29, 2016)
U.S. Cattlemen defend beef: Say no to ‘Meatless Monday’ (June 29, 2016)
County committee nomination period begins (June 22, 2016)
Hartmann takes the steer by the horns to win state championship (June 22, 2016)
La Vernia FFA wraps up school year with honors, scholarships (June 22, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 22, 2016)
Root rot knocks out roses (June 22, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 22, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 22, 2016)
A student’s ag-related journey (June 15, 2016)
Family Land Heritage news (June 15, 2016)
Five dirty truths on agriculture (June 15, 2016)
Horseherb galloping through yards (June 15, 2016)
Kristin Storey: South Texas queen to compete for national title (June 15, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 15, 2016)
Miller announces assistance for farmers devastated by floods (June 15, 2016)
No “rain, rain, go away” as precipitation persists (June 15, 2016)
Schwartz takes lead as Texas state veterinarian (June 15, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 15, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 15, 2016)
Texas Rural Leadership Program (June 15, 2016)
It’s almost rodeo time in Stockdale (June 8, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 8, 2016)
Save seed pods for next fall (June 8, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 8, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 8, 2016)
Big Time Texas Hunts entries now on sale (June 1, 2016)
Burbridge leads the way in Buck Taylor roping event (June 1, 2016)
Farm Bureau solicits AgLead, FarmLead participants (June 1, 2016)
June 2016 Gardening Calendar (June 1, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 1, 2016)
Save squash from vine borers (June 1, 2016)
State Farm Bureau testifies on agricultural use valuation (June 1, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 1, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 1, 2016)