Arizona Farm Bureau Board of Directors Sets 2023 Policy Priorities
At its November board meeting, the newly seated AZFB Board of Directors approved the organization’s policy priorities for the upcoming year. While these priority issues do not represent an exhaustive list of all the ways our organization will engage government decision-makers, they are where we anticipate needing to focus our lobbying and advocacy efforts this year.
To no one’s surprise, water issues dominate our organizational priorities. Protecting agriculture’s access to water in light of dire drought on the Colorado River, increased pressure to regulate and restrict rural groundwater use, and the expectation that a new WOTUS rule will be published before year-end will require diligent advocacy and constant monitoring throughout the year.
Farm Bill 2023
We are also gearing up for a new Farm Bill in 2023. This crucial piece of legislation will outline commodity support and conservation program funding for the next five years, and we are already working hard to make sure that western agriculture’s unique needs are met by this legislation. In addition to maintaining current funding levels, we are also looking to make significant and needed changes to Mexican gray wolf compensation programs in the 2023 bill.
Maintaining and Increasing Resources for the Department of Agriculture
With a new gubernatorial administration also comes changes to critical agricultural regulatory agencies. The Board outlined priorities for maintaining and increasing resources for the Department of Agriculture as well as convening a member-led working group to address continuing issues with bovine trichomoniasis in Arizona cattle herds. Federal agencies are on Farm Bureau’s radar as well, especially as it relates to fire response with the US Forest Service and public lands grazing with both the Forest Service and BLM. Ensuring that grazing remains a valued use of public lands, and helping grazing become more widely recognized as a fire management tool, are both top-of-mind as we head into the upcoming year.
It’s sure to be a busy and challenging year on the advocacy front, but we are confident that our grassroots strength will continue to be effective at shaping policy in Arizona and beyond. To see the full list of approved policy priorities, visit the Advocacy section of our website, www.azfb.org.