The following priorities will set the course for Arizona Farm Bureau's Government Relations team in 2017.
- Regulatory reform at the federal level is a high priority of the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation would expect to contribute to that effort. At the same time, the Arizona Department of Agriculture is opening their rules as to what makes sense and what does not.
- We will be re-visiting the issue of tort reform at the state level to see if there are new opportunities for legislation.
- As varied as our water issues are across the state, we expect any number of water issues this upcoming session. To the old adage that all politics is local, we add: “… all water politics is local …”
- We expect issues will arise with wild horses, wild burros, wildfire and endangered species – all at federal agency levels.
- We will look for opportunities to strengthen agricultural tax classifications.
- We are seeing increasing infringements on agriculture by local communities and more time will need to be spent in discussions with zoning and council officials on these issues. Concurrently, we need to see if we can create opportunities to have more inclusive definitions of agriculture in state statutes.
- Agriculture has considerable work ahead to re-educate the public and congress as to the importance of trade issues. Trade was one of the casualties of this current campaign season and must be re-positioned to move forward.
- As always we will seek ways to create an appropriate climate for discussion of visa reform.
- We need to sponsor some town halls and political mixers in various localities around the state. It would be interesting to have supervisors, council members and legislators at the same forum … almost a “trade show” for elected officials to showcase themselves.