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Thanksgiving, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Law

Lisa Peters  /  Thursday, November 15, 2018  /  Categories: Just in Case  /  Rate this article:
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The average cost for a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 will be $48.90 according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual survey.

The cost decreased by $.22. The cost of turkey is less, so are sweet potatoes, green peas, milk, and rolls. While the cost for stuffing, pumpkin pie, cranberries, veggie trays, and miscellaneous item is up a bit. A half-pint of whipping cream is the only item that costs the same as it did last year.

The American Farm Bureau Federation (Farm Bureau) was started in 1919 by farmers from 30 states. "Farm Bureau is an independent, non-governmental, voluntary organization governed by and representing farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing their problems and formulating action to achieve educational improvement, economic opportunity and social advancement and, thereby, to promote the national well-being." So, it is not surprising that one of their main functions is to advocate about laws and regulations that impact farmers and the cost of our Thanksgiving dinners.

On their website they have sites dedicated to issues and advocacyIssues the Farm Bureau follow include trade, agriculture and regulatory reform, farm policy, immigration reform, tax reform, energy, and technology.  The Farm Bureau's policy on regulatory reform includes "limiting federal agencies’ ability to use social media and similar resources on pending rules." I checked the issue papers and searched the Farm Bureau's site but could not find any more information about the Farm Bureau's idea on limiting the use of social media by federal agencies. Another issue covered is the rural opioid  epidemic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report (October 20, 2017)  in 2015 the rate of death by overdose was higher in rural areas than in urban areas. In response to this fact the Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union's are working on a campaign to deal with the opioid abuse called Farm Town Strong.

The Farm Bureau's advocacy activities include awarding a Golden Plow to "members of Congress who exemplify agricultural leadership and support of Farm Bureau policies." Past winners include Ohio's Senator Rob Portman, Oklahoma's Senator James Inhofe and Representative Fred D. Lucas. The Farm Bureau keeps its members informed on how members of Congress vote on laws identified as a Farm Bureau's action issue. You can search by bill, or by Congressman. If you look up a Congressman you will also get a snapshot of how often the Congressman voted with the Farm Bureau; Representative Ralph Lee Abraham has voted with the Farm Bureau 93% of the time. The organization also has information on how to be an advocate and an app to get action alerts. The latest alert asked members to encourage congress to vote yes on the 2018 Farm Bill. There is also resources in-depth on advocacy issues. The Farm Bill Resources In-Depth page includes information about the Farm Bureau's priorities in regard to the bill, the Farm Bureau's position papers related to the farm bill, a comparison between the house and senate bill, myths and facts about farmers and farm policy, and corp insurance:

                      MYTH: Waste, fraud and abuse are rampant in crop insurance.

                      FACT: According to the Risk Management Agency (RMA) at USDA, the improper payment rate for crop insurance for fiscal year 2017 was 1.96 percent, which is less                        than half of the average rate for all government programs (4.67 percent).* (*Fiscal Year 2016)
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Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful. I am thankful for the information shared by the American Farm Bureau Federation about laws that impact our farms.

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