American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall didn’t pull any punches during his keynote address to the organization at its 100th annual convention. An Agri-Pulse report says Duvall called 2018 a “terrible year” for American agriculture. Roughly 7,000 people were in the audience as Duvall said farmers experienced a “perfect storm this past year.” The only exception came on some of the organization’s key policy issues. There were a lot of victories on the agricultural policy front, including tax reform that lowered taxes for just about every farmer and rancher. That included a doubling of the estate tax for farm families, a long-sought goal for Farm Bureau. One of the biggest victories was passing the 2018 Farm Bill. One of the brightest spots on the regulatory front is the new Clean Water rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Duvall notes that, of the 28 deregulatory actions taken by the Trump Administration, half of them involve agriculture. Looking ahead to 2019, Duvall encouraged members to gear up for Farm Bureau tackling challenges like farm labor, trade issues, as well as infrastructure needs like broadband expansion.
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