Proposed policy resolutions approved by delegates at the county annual meeting

View the resolutions below that were approved at the county annual and submitted to the state policy development committee to be considered at the Michigan Farm Bureau annual meeting. 

Contact the county office for information about the Policy Development process

TitlePolicy
071-Agricultural DrainageThe continued maintenance and proper operations of County Drains is one of the most important infrastructure components of agriculture in Michigan and Shiawassee County. Without modern drainage, most of Shiawassee County would be uninhabitable and unable to be farmed on a commercial scale. Michigan Farm Bureau State Policy #71 covers Agricultural Drainage and specifically supports increasing the dollar limit of Drain Maintenance Projects and Payback Time to allow for projects to be done more economically and efficiently while keeping the assessment burden low to landowners. While large petition drain projects typically have their own financing, smaller maintenance projects such as clearing log jams, simple cleanings and broken tile repair are paid for by the Drain Maintenance Revolving Fund at the county level until an assessment can be completed with the Winter Property Taxes. With the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Shiawassee County was awarded millions of dollars in funding. One of the permitted uses of these funds is for Water and Sewer Infrastructure, of which, County Drains qualify under Sewer Infrastructure. (Storm Sewers) The Shiawassee County Farm Bureau encourages the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners to allocate a portion of the American Rescue Plan Funding to increase the size of the County Drain Maintenance Revolving Fund to allow the County Drain Commissioner to conduct more projects under Annual Maintenance and to avoid having to use the expensive and burdensome petition process to perform simple projects.
094-Farm and Commercial VehiclesMFB Policy: Transportation, 2021 Book, Page 134, Line 47 Define Problem: Before Covid-19 occurred the Secretary of State offices were overcrowded and wait times to get service were very long. Now the SOS requires people to make appointments or mail in their materials or use the self-service machines. Wait times between appointments being made can be days, weeks or even months ling. The self-service stations often do not work or make mistakes. The stations have added to the costs as the State charges a technology fee or $3.95 per transaction and a processing fee of 2.3% if you use a credit or debit card. Effects: The wait times, the length of time between making an appointment and getting in to that appointment and the self-service machines have added to the inconvenience and costs to the consumer. Action Needed: We propose that: 1. The SOS add more staff and/or more offices to the counties that are experiencing these delays. 2. The SOS add more convenient hours such as evening and Saturday morning hours. 3. The SOS rent office space at a major retailer in the county for walk in customers. 4. Appointments and renewal by mail should continue to be provided. Summary: Not everyone is able to use the technology and computer systems to access the Secretary of State services. The wait and appointment times are much too long. The self-service stations often don’t work or are inaccurate and add to the cost of doing business. The SOS offices need more staff, more convenient hours and locations including offices in major retail stores in the counties. These offices and hours of operations should include appointments and walk-ins based on the needs of each county.
076-Farmland ProtectionPurchases of farmland by large investment entities paying far beyond what is economically feasible is an anti-competitive practice. To discourage these sales in Michigan, Shiawassee County Farm Bureau Proposes the following: 1. All non-farm entities that hold farmland be exempt from PA116. 2. All farmland sales to non-farm entities are excluded from the uncapping exception that farms have. 3. Any local millage exemptions are automatically revoked for non-farm entities. Also, any applicable anti-trust rules should be applied when foreign or corporate sales of farmland are happening.
081-Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance ProgramRealizing that some MDEGLE (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy), officers have demonstrated verbally their wish for mandated regulatory compliance with environmental law rather than cooperative voluntary programs. We wish to reaffirm the verbiage given in MFB 2021 policy 75 stated on pages 94 through 99 of the 2021 policy book. The need is even greater that MFB support MDARD (Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development), work jointly with MDEGLE in regard to discharge permitting and that Farmers have a seat at the NPDES writing committees and reaffirm a unbiased third party chair person. We support MAEAP verified farms being given the respect of already being proven managed in compliance with environmental law as it regards discharge permitting decisions.
061-ElectionsWe support allocating our electoral college voters based on the popular vote for each congressional district. The winner of the states popular vote would win the 2 at-large electors.
039-Agriscience-Food and Natural Resources Education and the FFA OrganizationWith the development of the new Federal Perkins V Legislation, CTE programs are now required to align instruction to industry-based credentials. These credentials must reflect the skills they have attained while completing their high school program. While there are well-known high school certification programs in health care and other industries, Michigan agriculture, food and natural resources (AFNR) programs have faced a lack of a well-recognized industry credentials which students can earn while in high school. Furthermore, it’s hard for students to articulate the skills attained and leadership development they complete in agriscience and FFA to employers. Michigan Fam Bureau supports the development of an agricultural credential which high school AFNR students could use to gain employment in the agricultural and natural resources field. The development of this credential should include input from agricultural business, teachers and educational specialists to ensure they certification represents the skills learned through the program in a way that’s meaningful for agricultural employers. The goal of this credential would be to increase students’ likelihood of gaining employment while providing standardized, vetted, statewide certification to better assist employers wishing to hire talent in agriculture, food and natural resources.