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Other Important Issues for 2010
Animal Welfare -- We support the humane treatment of animals; however, we will vigorously oppose any legislation which suggests or declares that animals have rights of their own. We oppose such declaration of animal rights that would change the basic form of production agriculture and methods of production currently used on Alabama farms.

Dairy Tax Incentives -- Dairy farmers should be given a tax credit for production in any month in which the farm cost for milk drops below a set, established price. Other states, such as Louisiana and South Carolina, have passed economic incentive bills to save dairy farms in rural communities and the resulting infrastructure.

Home Rule -- We support limited home rule as long as it does not affect taxation, zoning, or eminent domain.

Immigration -- We do not support the hiring of illegal workers. Comprehensive immigration reform is a critical issue to farmers across the country and should be a federal, not state, issue.

We do not support a patchwork of state or local laws and regulations that would create a burden on employers. In Alabama, the estimated amount of agricultural production at risk is $63 million if farmers cannot maintain access to a legal, affordable and stable labor supply.

Limited Liability for Landowners -- Leasing private property for hunting and fishing is a way for people to utilize their land for profit, which benefits a community. This land is especially plentiful in rural areas where economies are many times depressed.

Alabama should do all it can to encourage the use of this land that helps to move money through local, rural economies. Sometimes this is money spent from out-of-state visitors who purchase many other items while visiting Alabama, including food and gas.

Landowners who lease their property for hunting or fishing purposes should not worry about frivolous lawsuits and therefore be afraid to lease their land. We support legislation that frees landowners from the liability for any damages to a person based on the use of the leased property for hunting or fishing purposes.

Water -- Alabama Farmers Federation has been monitoring the work of the Joint Legislative Committee on Water Policy & Management and providing information and feedback to its members. Any recommendations that are proposed by the Committee or other legislation will be viewed with the following principles in mind:
  • The right to use water is a property right, which should not be taken from an owner without due process of law and just compensation. In the event of a drought, we oppose any governing authority adopting a drought management plan, rules, regulations, local law or ordinance that would adversely impact agricultural production or related agribusiness enterprises.
  • Best Management Practices should be researched and promoted through education to conserve and protect Alabama's water resources, which are critical not only to Alabama's farmers, but to everyone in the state.
  • Research on groundwater recharge and on making more efficient use of our water resources should be supported. Such research should be designed to develop a conservation program with emphasis on individual, local and state participation. Alabama would also benefit from a comprehensive, long-range water plan for irrigation needs.

Click here to download a PDF version of this Issue Card.

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