The last time we had a council discussion packet for distribution was within days of when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Given quarantine and social distancing guidelines, Farm Bureau followed Ohio Department of Health orders and supported suspension of Community Council meetings.
Gov. Mike DeWine recently lifted the state mask mandate and all remaining coronavirus health orders except those for nursing homes and assisted living facilities on June 2. Many council members have received COVID-19 vaccinations, too.
Here are some discussion guides to get you back into a regular meeting schedule. Ohio Farm Bureau values input from community councils, which contribute to the grassroots policy making process for the organization.
Topic: Ohio Farm Bureau Action Alert – Capital Gains and Stepped Up Basis
Individuals, family partnerships and family corporations own over 98% of our nation’s farms and ranches. Yet, our nation’s estate tax policy can be in direct conflict with the desire to preserve and protect these family-owned operations. Current proposals in Washington, D.C. would eliminate stepped-up basis, double capital gains tax rates and charge a new capital gains tax at death on the appreciation of assets like farmland.
Farms are often kept in the family for many years. Tracking the appreciation of land and equipment over a period of decades would be extremely complex, and the value of land is likely to have increased so much that without stepped-up basis the next generation of farmers and ranchers could be forced to sell the land just to pay the taxes.
This Discussion Guide asks your council to compose a letter and send it to your congressional representatives.
Additional information/materials on this subject:
- AFBF Website and Special Link: Use the AFBF Advocacy/Action Alert page, Protect Stepped-Up Basis for American Family Farms to learn more about the issue and compose a direct e-mail to your congressional representatives.
- OFBF Website – OFBF Action Alert – Capital Gains and Stepped –Up Basis: Learn more about the need for the Action Alert and insight on how the issue affects local agriculture, as well as access to an OFBF Legal with Leah podcast on capital gains and estate planning.
- OFBF Website – Basics of Tax Basis: Learn more about how this issue impacts local agriculture through the Basics of Tax Basis, written by Ryan Conklin, Legal Counsel with Wright & Moore Law Company, LPA.
Topic: Getting Involved in Policy Development
Farm Bureau is directed by its members. They define action programs, legislative priorities and regulatory positions on issues affecting farmers and rural communities through the organization’s policy development process. Group discussion and input are the basic features of this grassroots approach that leads to the creation of policy positions that guide the Farm Bureau at local, state and national levels.
Farm Bureau has several opportunities where members can pursue their interests and discuss current issues impacting agriculture, food production and their community. This guide explores how community stakeholders get involved in policy discussion, as well as highlights the Community Council’s role in this process. We hope your group can provide valuable input to you county Farm Bureau Policy Development Committee, too.
Additional information and materials on this subject:
2021 Ohio Agriculture and Rural Communities Action Plan: OFBF is calling on policymakers to work with the organization to implement an agenda to help revitalize Ohio agriculture and its rural communities.
Following the Policy Development Process: Farm Bureau members define the positions the organization takes on issues affecting farmers and rural residents through an annual policy development process. The grassroots approach leads to the creation of policy positions that guide legislative and regulatory action by the organization on important issues.
Topic: COVID-19 and Rural Community Health Care
COVID-19 placed a high burden on rural communities and health care services. As the nation bounces back, rural community stakeholders are exploring how their neighborhoods weathered the pandemic and what strategies could be put in place to address similar incidents in the future. Discussion guide
Additional information/materials on this subject:
- OFBF Website – Farm, Food and Agribusiness COVID-19 Survey Reveals Impacts on Ohio’s Food System: A statewide COVID-19 impact survey, distributed by Ohio Farm Bureau and a number of other agriculture groups, collected data to pinpoint areas of concern for every aspect of agriculture, including producers, retailers and food processors.
- OFBF Website – Duvall Talks about COVID-19 Impact on Nation’s Farmers: Our Ohio Weekly with Ty Higgins visited with American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall to talk about the impact the coronavirus has had on agriculture and AFBF’s response to it.
- McKinsey & Company – Covid-19 and Rural Communities: Protecting Rural Lives and Health: Near-term actions can help rural communities as they manage the pandemic on three fronts: treating serious COVID-19 cases, curbing further virus spread, and addressing mental health and social needs.
Keep in touch with Farm Bureau
Remember, participants are not limited to these discussion topics and materials – Feel free to discuss additional topics and issues generated from the local newspaper, other publications and/or key events happening in your neighborhood.
Need some additional help? Contact your county Farm Bureau office for assistance.
Remember to send council meeting forms and correspondence directly to the county Farm Bureau.
Many of Farm Bureau’s action plans started with conversation around a kitchen table, living room or front porch; lively discussion continues to develop using web applications, too.
To join a community council, contact the county Farm Bureau office.