The Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors approved the organization's 2012 priority issues during the American Farm Bureau Federation convention in Hawaii.

The priorities are related to water, taxes and budget, defense of animal agriculture, metal theft and farm labor, though President Zippy Duvall emphasized that GFB would not limit its agricultural advocacy work to those topics.

"Our organization will continue to be involved with any issues that affect farmers as outlined by our official policy," Duvall said. "These priority issues have surfaced as having particular interest within our membership."

Duvall also stressed that involvement at the local level is the key to Farm Bureau's legislative success.

On issues related to water, GFB will work cooperatively with all aspects of agriculture to make sure agricultural water rights are protected. The organization will support efforts to conserve water while working to augment water supplies.

GFB will also be engaged in efforts to resolve the ongoing water dispute between Georgia, Alabama and Florida while working to ensure that contingency plans do not adversely affect agriculture.

GFB will also continue to be involved with Georgia's regional water councils and the Metro Water District.

On taxes and budget, GFB will work to achieve meaningful tax reform in Georgia that will protect current agricultural sales tax exemptions and broaden the scope of exemptions to cover all farm input costs, protect the Conservation Use Value Assessment (CUVA) program and preserve funding for agricultural institutions, agencies and youth development programs. 

On animal agriculture, GFB will work to block efforts to regulate animal agriculture at the farm level, defend against attacks from groups opposed to animal agriculture, provide positive reinforcement to consumers about animal agriculture and work with other animal agriculture groups.

The board resolved to find ways to curb the growing trend of metal theft, including working cooperatively with coalitions to combat metal thieves and educating the public about how to defend against it.

GFB will continue to push for reform at the federal level on issues affecting farm labor and remain engaged with state and federal farm labor issues.

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For a rundown on the American Farm Bureau Federation's delegates approval of farm policy direction, visit

The Georgia Farm Bureau also honored state winners at their recent convention. Details can be found at