Ryan Flicker Policy Update

(Ryan) I’m Ryan Flickner, Senior Director of Public Policy at Kansas Farm
Bureau. We just wrapped up the annual meeting at Wabaunsee County Farm
Bureau. Great event, great turnout. I was asked to come speak and give a
quick update on some of the different policy issues that Farm Bureau has
been fighting on behalf of our members over the last few months, over the
course of the last year. No doubt about it we’ve been fighting the
regulatory zeal and overrun of the current administration whether you’re
talking about clean air and climate change issues, the ozone proposal and
a big one for Kansas Farm Bureau and Farm Bureaus all across the nation is
WOTUS, Waters of the U.S. That’s very concerning for us and our members
when you’re gonna take roughly, currently 30,000 stream miles and explode
that up to over 170,000 stream miles. Once again, those weren’t miles that
weren’t regulated before, they were just regulated by the State
government. But we have some concerns about turning that over to Federal
jurisdiction and the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers. Also highlighted
some of the issues that we fought in the 2015 State legislative session.
It was the longest in state history at 113 days, but going over 90 days
certainly isn’t unprecedented. I guess about 1976 all the way to the early
2000’s, every single session went more than 90 days, so that’s not unheard
of. But the attacks on agriculture were frequent this session when it came
to use value appraisal, possibility of removing some exemptions on sales
tax for farm machinery and equipment. That certainly struck a chord for
Farm Bureau and our members all across the state The other option that I
really talked to our members about was different ways that they can sign
up for communications by Farm Bureau. We do offer text alert service. We
also have a twice weekly electronic newsletter, we call it E-News that
goes out on Tuesdays and Fridays as well as our twice a month print
version that’s called the Farm Leader Letter. We are converting a lot of
folks over from the print version on that to get an electronic copy. This
gets to their inbox or mail box much quicker than it does through the
Postal Service. We’re completing our 96th year of Kansas Farm Bureau. We
only have 105 members, which are each one of the 105 counties in Kansas.
But we certainly have many more members than that, about 40,000 active
farm and ranch families all across the state that belong to their county
Farm Bureaus. Doing a lot of great things. We played a lot of defense
during the 2015 Legislative session just protecting the best interests of
farm and ranch families and private property rights. But we certainly do
not have, or we certainly DO have our work cut out for us as we move
forward with all the different promotions during this session. It looks
like the budget situation could be just as tight as we gear up for the
2016 session as well as we’ve got to figure out where Farm Bureau stands
on the current two year block grant where our members want to take us.
Once that two year block grant for K through 12 education wraps up. But
we’re certainly listening to our members to figure out where they want to
go with the grassroots organization.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.