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Agriculture Today

Local Farm Bureau leaders address issues on Capitol Hill

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May 16, 2012 | 4,699 views | Post a comment

With the pending farm bill and other agricultural issues looming, Texas farmers and ranchers traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with their U.S. senators and representatives and discuss the issues on Capitol Hill in April.

More than 150 state and county Farm Bureau leaders, led by Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke, reconnected with their nationally elected officials during the Texas Farm Bureau National Affairs Awards Trip, April 17-20.

“It is very important that we have an ongoing conversation with our political leaders to explain what we need to survive and thrive,” said Wilson County Farm Bureau leader Tom Ortmann. “The 2012 Farm Bill was top of mind for all of us as we met with our members of Congress. We reminded them that the farm bill is an important safety net that ensures we can continue to grow food and fiber for all Americans.”

In addition to the farm bill, Texas Farm Bureau members discussed the effects of the estate tax, capital gains tax, and child labor rules that could have a significant impact on agricultural operations in Texas and across the country.

Following the trip, the U.S. Department of Justice withdrew the proposed child labor rules that would prevent many young people from working on a farm or ranch.

“This is a perfect example of the power of the grassroots process. We, along with other agricultural leaders, explained to our congressmen that these regulations would eliminate a rite of passage for many rural kids -- farm jobs have taught young people a strong work ethic and values for generations,” Ortmann said. “We were glad to see that they heard and responded to our concerns.”

Farm Bureau county leaders who qualified for the organization’s annual awards trip to Washington did so by working with their elected officials on a regular basis and participating in national affairs events in their districts.

Also attending from Wilson County was Karissa Ortmann.

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