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foreclosures and grain price supports to farm worker’s compensation.” The Texas Farmers Union favors government regulation of agricultural production to stem the fall of grain prices caused by massive surpluses. “Our union has called for a mandatory supply-management system in order to get supply and demand balance restored,” Moeller remarked. “The Farm Bureau opposed us, saying their membership was against any regulation. Then we thought we’d compromise and offer a nation-wide referendum. The Farm Bureau absolutely and diametrically opposed any such referendum. They’ve taken some positions that were so clearly not in the best interest of farmers that I think legislators are beginning to see through it,” he added. Farm Lobby The Texas Farm Bureau has three full-time lobbyists attempting to influence state agencies and the legislature. Another two are registered as FB lobbyists with the office of the Secretary of State. The Bureau has lost several of its fights in the Capitol recently. These have included legislation on workers’ compensation for farm workers. On the issues of unemployment compensation for farm workers and the regulation of pesticide, the Farm Bureau has found itself on difficult ground, largely because of its political intransigence. Its right-wing positions, while perhaps placating elements of its membership, have alienated many rural residents, minorities, and some of the state’s legislators. The Bureau’s legislative influence took a nose-dive during the battle over the farm workers’ compensation bill in late 1983 when it single-handedly offended the Governor, Lt. Governor, and the Speaker of the House. After agreement on the bill was reached by members of the Governor’s Committee on Farm Workers’ Insurance \(which pulled out just minutes before the committee’s signing ceremony. The Bureau denied it had agreed to the bill. Nevertheless, its actions brought the Farm Bureau a closed door on the issue with Lt. Governor Bill Hobby and a stern lecture from Governor Mark White. Another case of Farm Bureau intransigence involves pesticide regulations for the state agriculture department. The proposed regulations give farmers and rural residents the right to prior notification of aerial spraying, prevent farm workers from entering fields too soon after application of toxic chemicals, and provide for access to toxicological information on pesticides. They in no way restrict the type, amount, or manner of application of pesticides. The Bureau took the lead in opposing the regulations, using a campaign of scare tactics: . . . the proposed changes “would prohibit for all practical purposes, the use of pesticides,” said Wayne Newberry, executive director of the TFB, [and vice president of the TFB Mutual Insurance Company]. \(Corpus . . . Farm groups, most notably the TFB, have claimed the regulations would “shut down agriculture” and prompt higher food costs.” \(College . . . the regulations are “part of a larger effort to socialize agriculture and divert land from private use to state control.” Newt Dyer, TFB member. \(Valley Evening Monitor, Representative Steve Carriker, DRoby, commenting on the Farm Bureau’s role in the pesticide controversy, said, “It didn’t do the agricultural community any good to have the Farm Bureau spreading misinformation or partial truths about those regulations. And in the long run it will hurt us. There’s no question that the Farm Bureau’s misleading public relations was politically motivated. It was something that could damage [Agriculture Commissioner] Jim Hightower.” This year legislators again are faced with two fundamentally different perceptions of the future of agriculture in Texas. One, embodied by the insurance company president from Plainview, seeks to maintain the status quo for a diminishing number of farmers. The other, represented by groups like the Farmers Union, views with alarm the unraveling of the family farm and the grip of corporate America on Texas agriculture. Legislators would do well to compare the facts on the declining state of agriculture in Texas to AFBF President Robert Delano’s comments on the 1984 election results. “I think,” said Delano, “we can trust the surviving politicians to stop expressing exaggerated concern over the supposed demise of American agriculture and family farming.” Could it be that the Farm Bureau’s vision of the future includes no more than a few Farm Bureau agribusiness executives financed by millions of insurance policy holders? Policies, ’85 From Farm Bureau Policies for 1985, American Farm Bureau Federation: State’s rights 509 Decentralization of power and responsibility in the federal government should be encouraged. Public functions should be performed by the qualified unit of government closest to the people without coercion by administrative agencies of higher units of governments. We support: Efforts of state governments to assume responsibilities which rightfully belong to the states and to protect and defend state’s rights; Legislation to nullify the Supreme Court doctrine that the enactment of federal legislation preempts the field; and An amendment to the Constitution which would permit each state to determine the apportion ment of one house of its legislature on some basis other than population. . Civil Rights 510 Farm Bureau members are firm believers in and supporters of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the basic precepts of our Republic, which call for fair and nondiscriminatory treatment under the law for all citizens. We also firmly believe in the private enterprise economic system and that property rights are an important part of civil rights. We are not opposed to carefully written legislation to prohibit the use of federal funds by any institu tion or agency that discriminates against persons due to sex, race, religion, national origin or handicapped status; but we oppose legislation, such as sought in the Civil Rights Act of 1984 and any such broad, vague and all-encompassing language which would expand fed eral authority and regulatory power over state and local governments and the private sector. Equal Rights Amendment 515 Farm Bureau maintains its belief in the equality of all persons under the law and opposes any further 14 APRIL 19, 1985