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

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TitlePolicy
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071-Agricultural DrainageAs more and more non-agricultural development has taken place over the years, we seek changes to the method the assessments are levied for a drainage district. Asphalt and concrete driveways and parking lots, along with rooftops and other non-porous materials contribute to exceeding a drains water carrying capacity during a rain event than does farmland and open space. We support the assessment of a property, within a drainage district, be based on the property’s taxable value regardless of location within the drainage district. We feel this is a more equable way to fund drain projects as it makes a more accurate representation of benefits derived within the drainage district. (Replaces language in lines 31-32 “All land in a drainage district being assessed according to benefits derived, including public lands”).
071-Agricultural DrainageWe feel that it is not the role of the drain commissioner to work with landowners to develop practices to reduce sedimentation and nutrient loading. We feel farmers working with their Conservation Districts and NRCS is a more traditional role. Therefore, we support striking language in lines 65-68 of MFB Policy #70 that states “We support the drain commissioner working with landowners to develop and encourage practices, both on farms and in drains, to reduce sedimentation and nutrient loading.”
071-Agricultural DrainageTo assist farmers and our members with gaining a better understanding of the Drain Code of 1956, we direct Michigan Farm Bureau to create an educational series to be made available to the members that would provide a better understanding of the Drain Code of 1956 (Replaces language in lines 94-95 “We urge MFB to develop an educational series regarding ag drainage.”).
102-Safety on RoadwaysDuring a rain event, vehicles that don’t have their headlights on are difficult to see. This creates a hazardous situation for traffic on the roads. We support legislation that requires a vehicle’s headlights to be on when the windshield wipers are operating AND WITH FURTHER STUDY TO REQUIRE A VEHICLE'S HEADLIGHTS TO BE ON AT ALL TIMES.
176-FirearmsThe right of an individual’s defense is a God given and inalienable right. During the 15 plus years that Michigan has had a “shall issue” Concealed Pistol License (CPL) there is more than enough documentation that a holder of a CPL is a responsible individual when carrying a handgun. As a result of this positive history we urge the following changes be made. We support: • Allow a currently licensed CPL holder who has completed additional training to legally possess a firearm in a pistol free zone (PFZ). We further support: • The Michigan Castle Doctrine and No-Retreat Law that grants an individual the right to self defense, anywhere, if they have reasonable belief that their life, or the life of another, is in immediate danger. • The issuing of lifetime Concealed Pistol License (CPL) for Michigan residents. • Passage of National Right to Carry legislation. We oppose the United Nation’s Arm Trade Treaty. We will work as individuals and as an organization to stop the implementation of it on United States soil. We will not support any attempt by our government to implement a system of creeping regulations and restrictions that mirrors the UN Arm’s Trade Treaty. (SA 66)
Local ResolutionFarm equipment/vehicle accidents can have a devastating effect to all those involved. Many older model tractors are not equipped with a Rollover Protection System (ROPS). It has been shown, that when used properly, ROPS can reduce injuries and save lives of the tractor operator. We feel there is a need to encourage the farmer members of Berrien County Farm Bureau with the importance and increase use of ROPS on their tractors. To accomplish this, we ask the Berrien County Farm Bureau Board of Directors to maintain a ROPS committee. This committee will work with area equipment dealers, other groups and organizations, and with final approval of the Board of Directors, continue a cost share program.
084-Private Property RightsWe support: • Increased fines for trespassing that may include a lineal foot per track fine of not less than one dollar per track per lineal foot. • Increased public fines and damages for losses incurred to the landowner or lease on land enrolled in PA116 and other land preservation programs, MAEAP, or is participating in a food safety and security program.
Local ResolutionAny drains cleaned in the Galien River watershed all have the same problem- log jams. All the money spent upstream to solve a problem is affected by the downstream issues. We support the Berrien County Drain Commissioner trying to work with local government to get the Galien River declared a municipal drain so the log jams could be cleared and the river could flow to help all drains in the district.
Local ResolutionGiven the current fund balance in Berrien County’s General Fund and the county’s newly acquired responsibility for county roads, the Berrien County Board of Commissioners should allocate a portion of that fund balance to the repair of county secondary roads. Roads selected for maintenance or reconstruction using these funds should be chosen using the PASER (Pavement Surface and Evaluation Ratings) system used throughout Michigan to evaluate road surface condition.
Local ResolutionWeesaw Township saw a 50% increase in county drain taxes from March 26, 2017, to March 31, 2018. This increase was not and could not have been foreseen when the Weesaw Township Board budgeted for what was expected its annual drain tax would be based on previous years’ drain expenditures. Such “tax surprises “make responsible budgeting impossible. Townships must be able to determine, in advance, what percentage of their total funds are available to pay for township drain taxes. Proposed: A Township’s annual drain bill increase should be negotiated annually by the drain commissioner and the township board.
089-Wildlife ManagementA lot of people like to hunt. Some will ask permission to hunt, a lot will not. As landowners we wonder who is out there. Be it resolved, we need the passage of a law that requires an identification plate on all tree stands and hunting blinds on private and public land. Information needed are name of the owner, their address and phone number. With this information you can determine if they have permission or you can ask them to remove it. If needed you could ask the DNR to contact the person for removal or face a minimum $250 fine for trespassing and forfeiture of all equipment.
137-ImmigrationWe support the repeal of President Obama's Executive Order Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We support a comprehensive Immigration Reform Package.
110-Regulatory Review and ReformAs time goes by, it seems more rules are coming from the Bureaucrats than congress. Waters of the U S. is an example of an agency trying to expand its reach and control of the citizens and their property. They seem to have their own agenda and will read any law to their point of view. Congress controls the purse strings and must hold all agencies to account for their actions and hold them to the law. Congress must control the bureaucrats and they all must realize they work for us, not them.
102-The ConstitutionThe US Constitution is the law of this republic and the Michigan Constitution is the law of this state. We support federal and state legislation that would limit the application and enforcement by a court, arbitrator, or administrative body of foreign laws that would impair constitutional rights; to provide for modification or voiding of certain contractual provisions or agreements that would result in a violation of constitutional rights; and to require a court, arbitrator, or administrative body to take certain actions to prevent violation of constitutional rights.
165-Unmanned Aircraft SystemsWe support all unmanned aircraft be in full sight of the operator when in use.
099-International Trade CrossingAcross Michigan, road experts agree: Even with the passage of increased road funding in 2015, our roads remain in very poor condition. The Michigan Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers in its 2018 Report Card for Michigan’s Infrastructure downgraded Michigan’s roads from a grade of D to D-. This grade is especially appropriate for Michigan’s secondary roads, 49% of which rate as poor, according to the Transportation Asset Management Council. The $1.2 billion funding increase passed by the Michigan legislature and signed into law by the governor will raise only half of what our damaged roads require. Additional funding must be found for secondary road maintenance and reconstruction. Such funds exist in a variety of sources: • Additional Michigan General Fund revenue voted by the legislature in response to encouragement from county government. • A change in the legislative formula governing the funds raised from resident vehicle registrations and fuel taxes. • At the county road commission and road department level, a shift of funds allocated for primary roads to secondary roads, as permitted by PA 51, Michigan’s law governing roads and road funding (see MCL 247.662, Sec. 12, 9). • Bicycles should be licensed and fees generated to pay for the bicycle paths as part of road reconstruction costs. (TRAN 98)
Local ResolutionThe Berrien County Board of Commissioners is currently reviewing funding options for public transportation and improvements to the County Parks system. While we are not weighing in on the merits of the aforementioned programs, we are concerned that the method chosen to generate the additional revenue will be an increase in the millage rate. As the Board of Commissioners progress through their decision making process, we ask them to keep the following facts in mind: • Berrien County farmers are dependent on their land for generating income. • Many variables effect the amount of income from an acre of land. These variables include weather events, unstable market demand and prices, national farm policy and international trade agreements. • The demand for services on agricultural land is far below that of other land uses. The official policy position of Berrien County Farm Bureau is: We are opposed to increasing the County millage as a revenue funding source. We feel increasing user fees and other funding sources are an appropriate way to generate revenue needs.
Local ResolutionThe current traffic light cycle at the intersection of Red Bud Trail and US-12 does not allow for slow moving traffic and agricultural equipment to flow through the intersection safely before the traffic signal changes. We recommend that the Berrien County Road Department and/or MDOT study the traffic flow and adjust the traffic light cycle to allow for safe traffic flow for slow moving vehicles and agricultural equipment.
102-Safety on RoadwaysWith more bicyclists on our roads we have concerns with safety for them and motor vehicles. Any bicyclist riding in Michigan has to: • Wear reflective clothing • Bicycle has to have a constant or flashing white light on the front • A flashing red light on the back • Police agencies by law, have to take an equal interest in enforcement of bicycle law, as motor vehicle laws.
 The history of the Standard Time in the United States began November 18, 1883 when the United States and Canadian Railroads instituted Standard Time in Time Zones. The Standard Time Act of 1918 officially established Standard Time in Time Zones. The Act also established Daylight Savings Time (DST), itself a contentious idea. DST was born out of WWI to save electricity seven months a year. DST was repealed in 1919 over a Presidential veto, but Standard Time in Times Zones remained. During WWII the War Time Act was enacted and on February 20, 1942 year-round DST began. On September 30, 1945 DST ended. From 1945 to 1966 U.S. law did not address DST, but states and cities were free to observe DST or not. In 1967 the U.S. Federal Uniform Time Act mandated that DST begin nationwide on the last Sunday in April and end on the last Sunday in October. The law allowed for a state to be exempted from DST by passing a state law exempting the entire state from DST. In the Midwest, Michigan and Indiana chose the exemption. Michigan adopted DST in 1973. During the last 43 years, DST has morphed into its present configuration. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests DST does not result in the reduced energy savings as it was once thought. Research also shows an increase in work and traffic accidents and fatalities in the days after the time change, along with some health related issues such as an increase in heart attacks. We support any of the following: - Being entirely on Standard Time year round - Being entirely on Daylight Savings Time year round - Following the original intent of the U.S. Federal Uniform Time Act to allow Daylight Savings time to begin the last Sunday in April and end the last Sunday in October