Cayce, SC – Tuesday, January 29, 2013 – The South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation (SCFB) board of directors voted today to support American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) national and international policies at its January board meeting. SCFB is a private non-profit membership organization that advocates for family farmers, locally grown food and fiber, and rural lifestyles. Each state has the opportunity following the AFBF annual meeting in January to support or dissent from specific policies adopted by the national voting delegate body.
A recent internet news article brought to light an issue over the sale of raw milk products sold in South Carolina. An AFBF national policy supports that only pasteurized milk should be sold for human consumption. The article was wrought with misleading and false information about Farm Bureau’s structure and internal policy and decision making processes. The writer led people to believe a government body was meeting in secret and changing state laws, which was not the case.
SCFB is a grassroots organization whose annual plan of work is driven by family farmers who are members of county Farm Bureau chapters. Issues are debated at the local level, then the state level, and often at the national level. Eventually policies are adopted that drive Farm Bureau’s education and lobbying activities at the local, state, and national levels on behalf of family farmers and rural lifestyles.
Last Friday, the SCFB dairy advisory committee, one of many SCFB commodity advisory committees, met to discuss the AFBF policy on pasteurized milk. The committee is comprised of dairy farmers from across the state. It determined that since the South Carolina Farm Bureau does not have a state policy on the sale or consumption of raw milk it would recommend to the organization’s board of directors that the organization not take part in any lobbying efforts, for or against raw milk sales, if the issue should come before the legislature. The committee also agreed not to dissent from AFBF national policy.
The board of directors adopted the dairy commodity committee’s recommendation and voted not to dissent from AFBF policies. The board also instructed the organization’s president and staff not to become involved in lobbying any issues involving the sale of raw milk in South Carolina.
The SCFB dairy committee will continue to meet routinely and will continue discussing what is best for the entire dairy industry with input from raw and pasteurized milk producers.
SCFB is a non-profit advocacy organization open for membership to any one, whether they farm or not, if they support the work ethic of family farmers, locally produced food and fiber, and rural lifestyles. Annual membership dues to individual county Farm Bureaus are no more than $40 per year. Members receive a number of member benefits in return, which, when used, more than pay back the total of a year’s membership. For more information, log onto www.scfb.org.
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