2011 Policy Development Backgrounders

Corporate Contributions  Now Allowed in Tennessee (pdf)
A 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision opened the door for state to allow corporations to make political contributions. The Tennessee General Assemble promptly made changes to state law allowing corporations to legally contribute where they once had been banned.  Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation members have opposed the formation of a Political Action Committee. In light of recent developments, how should the Federation respond to requests for corporate contributions?

Funding Infrastructure Projects (pdf)
Summary: Many of the roads and bridges needed to transport our children safely to school, deliver our goods from the farm to market or even allow barges to move down the river are in serious need of repair and modernization.

Tax Reform (pdf)
Summary: Congressional fact-finding hearings are underway that could lead to an overhaul of the federal tax code. As in 1986, Congress will most likely opt to modify the tax code instead of doinga full rewrite. Farm Bureau in on record in support of repealing the estate tax, the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and capital gains taxes.

Antibiotics  (pdf)
Summary:  Antibiotic resistance in human medicine is a serious and growing public health concern. While antibiotic use in health care increases, it is agriculture that continues to come under serious scrutiny for its production practices.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) – Early Out  (pdf)
Summary:  CRP was created to help producers cope with Highly Erodible Land restrictions in the 1985 Farm Bill. Today, ending stocks for many crops are at or near historically low levels. Considering the conservation purpose of the CRP, can some CRP acres be brought out in an environmentally sensitive manner?

Futures Contract Regulation  (pdf)
Summary: The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) represents some of the most sweeping changes to financial markets in decades.  The new law will increase regulation of agricultural swaps and agricultural trade options. Some believe the proposed regulations will negatively impact agribusiness firms, particularly farmer-owned cooperatives.

Food Traceability (pdf)
Summary: Full traceability of food from the farm gate to the retail level has become standard in some countries, and U.S. retailers and consumers increasingly express interest in developing similar systems in this country.