A Look at Legislation
North Carolina Farm Bureau’s core mission is the legislative representation of agriculture and rural North Carolinians. We’re proud of our work in this arena during 2014.
The North Carolina General Assembly recognizes a healthy and prosperous agriculture is dependent upon a favorable regulatory environment. There are costs to regulations. The legislature passed two important pieces of legislation during 2014 to address this issue.
First, the legislature enacted the North Carolina Farm Act. Second, North Carolina’s right-to-farm law was strengthened. At the federal level, the farm bill finally passed after two years of debate. This is a different farm bill in that it emphasizes crop insurance rather than direct payments as the farm safety net.
North Carolina made it through another election, and farmers now face opportunities presented by a new General Assembly and a new Congress. We are working with those returning legislators, as well as those just elected to office. It’s important to remember that while the people elected may change, and the parties in power may change, Farm Bureau must remain an advocate for a prosperous farm economy.
Since the new legislature convened in January, we have been closely following a variety of issues, including tax reform and its impact on farming operations.
We’re also concerned with helping obtain funding for agricultural research programs at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University. In particular, NCSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is looking to become an international leader in plant sciences through a $177 million initiative on Centennial Campus. It is critical that agriculture and business work cooperatively with our state legislature to bring to fruition this massive Plant Sciences Initiative.
At the federal level, we continue to focus on tax reform, agricultural regulations, GMO labeling, international trade agreements and the continuing need for a meaningful and workable immigration reform package that recognizes the labor needs of American agriculture.
Farm Bureau has never have been an organization afraid to make the tough decisions. Rather, our leadership – from the beginning – has had the courage to take those steps necessary to ensure that Farm Bureau is well-funded and relevant – a powerful advocate for agriculture and rural North Carolina.
I’m proud to say we’ve all worked together to grow this organization, to strengthen Farm Bureau to the position that we enjoy today, recognized as the spokesman not only for agriculture, but for rural life, as well.
– Larry Wooten