When we’re connecting with new members, we’re often asked what exactly Arizona Farm Bureau, a 501 (c)5, does. I like to mention, as one of the few remaining grassroots not-for-profit organizations, our farm and ranch leaders advocate on behalf of our $23.3 billion industry in this desert state.

“But what does that entail?” So, the best way to explain our lobbying and outreach story is to show the highlights of the last two decades. We plan to share weekly highlights of each one of the years beginning in 2000.

In compiling this “highlight reel” I was struck by how much we get done in a given year. And, remember, these are just the highlights.

New series beings…

The Accomplished Highlights of 2000

Cost of Fuel: AZFB lobbying stops Arizona legislature from mandating CARB diesel fuel, a low sulfur and nitrous oxide fuel, which costs 10 to 20 cents more per gallon. Farmers save $1,000 for every 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel you use.

Property Rights (Navigable Streams and Judication Act): AZFB lobbying protects your land under the creeks, streams and riverbeds, except the Colorado River, from confiscation by the state. This saves you $4,008-per-acre seized from your farm or ranch on the banks of an Arizona dry riverbed.

Ag Sales Tax: AZFB stops repeal of 5% agricultural sales tax exemptions on machinery, equipment, parts, and materials for the farm, ranch, dairy and poultry barn, seed, feed, antibiotics, breeding livestock, state-mandated pollution control equipment and water measuring devices. Members save approximately $4,194 on average this year.

Trespassing: AZFB works to help allow you to post your land for no trespass, no hunting, and no fishing by placing an orange post every quarter mile as legal notice. You save the cost of and maintaining signs, about $12 per sign per year.

Power Company Notifications: AZFB stops requirements to notify the power company three days before you do work near a power line. You save time, a $5,000 penalty and the cost to insulate the powerline.

Animal Husbandry Practices: AZFB helps stop unnecessary rules regarding the treatment of dairy calves on farms or at auctions.

Cell Phone Use: AZFB helps keep the use of cell phone in your truck legal. You gain one hay contract or about $3,250

Fugitive Dust: AZFB helps protect you from cities gaining new powers to penalize you for fugitive dust. You save a $500 fine if the wind blows on the wrong day.

Return: Arizona Farm Bureau claimed in 2000 that our grassroots lobbying program returned members $1,173 per dollar spent in dues.

18 Farm Bureau leaders travel to Washington D.C. to lobby the congressional delegation on repealing estate taxes, changes needed in the Clean Water Act, immigration reform and border issues, and the importance of agricultural trade in Arizona. They attend a briefing by U.S. Trade Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky and meet directly with the Commercial Attaché of the People’s Republic of China.

A group of farm and ranch leaders from across the country, including President Ken Evans, attend the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle. Protests marred these talks. The meetings were aimed at continuing progress toward promoting international trade opportunities for farmers.

Even a sampling shows how hard our volunteer leaders work on behalf of the Arizona agriculture industry. 

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