WACO, Texas — Texas Farm Bureau (TFB), the state’s largest general farm and ranch organization, is pursuing several legislative priorities to benefit Texas farmers, ranchers and rural areas in the 87th Texas Legislature that began today in Austin.
TFB will focus during the 140-day regular session on 11 priorities established by the TFB board of directors.
“Our key issue this session is making sure property owners’ rights are protected under eminent domain law. This is a continuation of our eminent domain reform efforts from recent legislative sessions. We are committed to making the eminent domain process more fair for private property owners,” TFB President Russell Boening said.
Other TFB legislative priorities include protecting the rights of landowners and agricultural producers to surface water and groundwater and opposing legislation that attempts to take any constitutionally-protected rights to water.
The organization will work to ensure state tax policy does not adversely impact or burden farmers, ranchers or the agricultural industry. It will protect the current state tax provisions that limit the burden on producing food, fiber and other agricultural products for consumers.
TFB will protect the rights of farmers and ranchers to engage in normally-accepted agricultural practices on their land and will oppose unnecessary regulatory authority over rural land, including involuntary or coerced annexation.
TFB is focused on ensuring vehicle, trailer and driver license regulations do not adversely impact or burden agricultural producers or the agricultural industry. The organization will protect the ability of farmers and ranchers to use generally-accepted, scientifically-proven production practices for livestock, poultry and other animals present on agricultural operations.
TFB supports legalizing reasonable chemical controls for feral hogs, and it supports maintaining all current legal methods of controlling feral hogs.
TFB supports modifications to the current Farm Animal Liability Act that recognizes the inherent risk in working with farm animals for both the agricultural producer and their employees.
TFB supports making it illegal to use deceptive labeling of food products to influence consumers to purchase the product, and it supports legislative efforts to facilitate the installation of broadband and cellular infrastructure in underserved rural communities.
TFB also will work to ensure that sunset legislation of state agencies related to agriculture or TFB priority issues benefits its members.
“This session will have some unique challenges due to COVID protocols and how the legislative process will be conducted. It will be different, but what has not changed is the importance of making sure the voices of farm and ranch families are heard at the Capitol. We are committed to that effort,” Boening said.
The TFB board of directors sets priorities for the legislative sessions following the efforts of county Farm Bureau leaders and the policy development process.
–Texas Farm Bureau
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