Massachusetts Farm Bureau protects and supports the family farm by advocating on behalf of the farmer. Examples of this, which happened in 2016, include:
- The Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s farmland valuation advisory committee (FVAC) approved a dramatic 300 percent increase in Chapter 61a farmland values in January 2016. MFBF appealed to the Governor’s office for relief from property tax increases and the FVAC reconsidered, resulting in a savings of $10+ million annual. That’s $1,200 per farm!
- MFBF was the driving force behind an initiative to expand an investment tax credit to include non-incorporated farms. The bill allows farmers to take a credit against their excise tax due for property that is leased or owned. When the law was expanded to include non-incorporated farms, it resulted in savings of $1 million per year for farmers.
- MFBF offers both online and over-the-phone technical information about Massachusetts farm plates. This resource has saved many of our members invaluable time allowing them more hours to manage their operations.
MFBF is a grassroots organization and all policy initiatives are set by our members.
The process starts when a county member brings a resolution forth at the county annual meeting, which is held every fall. The resolution is then voted upon at the county level and if passed, will be forwarded to the resolutions committee who prepares and forwards the resolution to MFBF’s annual meeting.
During the statewide annual meeting, delegates vote on the resolutions that were passed by the counties. Any resolution adopted at the state’s annual meeting becomes one of MFBF’s policy priorities.
Any resolutions with national applicability is then forwarded on to the American Farm Bureau Federation for consideration. This means you can make a difference nationally.
As the face of agriculture, Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation also does public relations and educational outreach. Examples of this, include:
- “Ag Day” at the State House, which is the premier event to showcase agriculture and our issues to the Massachusetts legislature. As principal organizer for the event, MFBF has firmly cemented our position as the recognized leader for agriculture in the state. This event involves dozens of agricultural commodity groups and hundreds of farmers, agricultural officials and state legislators. Two dozen Farm Bureau members serve as the steering committee for the event, which includes issues briefings, legislative visits, award presentations, a speaking program and a “Taste of Massachusetts” luncheon.
- MFBF hosts an annual Livestock on the Common event to educate legislators and the general public about how livestock is raised. This event also dispels myths that are being spread by animal welfare groups that are seeking to push their own agendas
In addition to lobbying and advocating on your behalf, MFBF’s member benefits package offers farmers savings on many products and services they use daily. Click here to see a complete list of member discounts.
The success of all MFBF leadership development programs depends on volunteers to ensure that the programs reflect the current needs and interests of members. We depend heavily on our volunteers to take leadership roles, just as they depend on staff to give them skills, strategies and programs for success. A variety of leadership opportunities are available. We’ve seen continued growth in our member involvement, and along with that, a revitalization of the organization’s leadership.
Leadership development interest has increased which has brought renewed energy and expertise to the boards, committees and task forces. MFBF members have been appointed to AFBF Issue Advisory Committees. This has empowered individual board members to seek more leadership and outreach opportunities.
MFBF works for Massachusetts farmers, future farmers and the businesses that support farmers. While we work for you, we can’t work without you. Become a member today.