National Update

ACTION ALERT!!! Tax Reform Comments

Congress is starting to get serious about tax reform. Both the President and leaders in Congress say they want to develop a tax reform plan this fall. Now is the time for the state's Congressional delegation to get involved. It is also time for farmers to tell Congress to reform the tax code so that it is simpler, more transparent, revenue neutral and fair to family farmers. Please submit comments to your federal lawmakers by clicking on the following link: https://www.ncfb.org/Legislative/FB-Voice?vvsrc=%2fcampaigns%2f53974%2frespond


AFBF Trade Meeting

American Farm Bureau Federation met with counterparts from Canada and Mexico last week in Washington, D.C., to discuss trade issues relative to the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations. AFBF trade specialist Dave Salmonsen explained that the meeting shows a unified voice across the NAFTA partners on agriculture issues. "Agriculture has seen the benefits across the board in all three countries," Salmonsen said. "So, they came together to say this is an important part of our economy and we want to see the gains we've gotten from this preserved."


Labor Shortage Video

Without access to an adequate and stable workforce, many farmers are being forced to leave fresh produce to rot in the fields. Farmers and ranchers across the country are calling for long-overdue reform to the current guest worker visa program that would create flexibility and provide stability in the agricultural workforce. American Farm Bureau Federation recently released the following video on YouTube that puts a face on the issue: https://www.fb.org/newsroom/farm-bureau-video-farmers-squashed-by-labor-shortage


Puerto Rico Agriculture Devastated

Following Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria doubled down the destruction on Puerto Rican agriculture. The recovery effort will take years for many farmers. Puerto Rico Farm Bureau President Hector Cordero explained that crops throughout the island are a complete loss. "We lost almost 100 percent of our agriculture," said Cordero. "All crops, plantains, bananas, papaya, coffee, all are a loss." Dairy represents the biggest sector of agriculture in Puerto Rico. Cordero, a dairy farmer himself, said dairy farmers are having trouble accessing their farms and getting their milk to processors. Currently, the industry is operating at a production level of about 50 percent.


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North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company

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American Farm Bureau Federation