“We achieved many of our policy goals this year and continue to work on others,” said TFB President Kenneth Dierschke. “Thanks to the hard work of our leaders and members, Texas Farm Bureau is a key player in the decisions that will affect the future of this great state.”
While the state’s largest farm organization prepares to meet the challenges of a new year, Dierschke noted that a long-sought goal for Farm Bureau—true reform of the state’s eminent domain laws—looks like it will finally be achieved. Bills supported by Farm Bureau have been pre-filed in the Legislature.
“Governor Perry has indicated his support,” he said. “With passage of this meaningful reform, Texans can emphatically say that the Lone Star State is a leader in the protection of private property rights.”
Dierschke noted many controversial issues face farmers and ranchers as the Texas Legislature starts a new session in January and a Congress convenes in Washington, D.C. with a host of new faces.
The Texas Legislature will likely address the cornerstones of Texas water law—rule of capture, local control and historical use.
“With Texas’ growing population, the stage is set for a showdown over water use,” Dierschke said. “We will steadfastly defend agriculture’s water rights.”
TFB will also be on guard as the Legislature addresses a ballooning deficit and redistricting, which will likely result in Texas losing even more rural representation.
Setting the national stage are important issues including trade, immigration reform and the writing of a new farm bill.
“We need to ensure new farm legislation contains measures that keep farmers on the land during lean times,” Dierschke said. “Those safety net provisions are critical—to both farmers and consumers—in maintaining food security in the United States.”
Dierschke said members will fine-tune the organization’s policies in Waco to meet the challenges of the coming year.
Registration for the state convention, along with TFB Member Services exhibits, begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Waco Convention Center. Other Saturday events include the Miss TFB and Talent Find contests, as well as the Free Enterprise Speech contest.
Events Sunday, Dec. 5, begin with a 9:30 a.m. devotional, followed by member recognition awards, Pioneer Award presentations and the naming of the 2010 Outstanding Young Farmer & Rancher. Sunday afternoon will also feature Dierschke’s annual address to the convention delegates.
The meeting concludes Monday, Dec. 6, with the organization’s annual business session, including the election of the president and board of directors. Dierschke is seeking his ninth one-year term as Texas Farm Bureau president.