"Reforming immigration policies to address the labor needs of farmers remains a paramount concern for NMPF," Mooney said.
Although there had not been any significant progress made on immigration in 2011, the issue was getting the attention of Congress through a Senate hearing, the H-2A visa program, and E-Verify.
Mooney and Kozak noted various successes on Capitol Hill, such as minimizing the impact of the estate tax, overturning the proposed tax reporting requirement known as the IRS form 1099, passing three Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, and resolving the trucking dispute that was negatively impacting U.S. cheese exports to Mexico.
NMPF also was pleased to see the final implementation of the promotion checkoff on imported dairy products. "Ultimately, the outcome of this issue is not about equity, but justice for America's farmers," Kozak explained.
Annual Meeting attendees learned that Cooperatives Working Together will continue in 2012 and 2013 after the program reached its 70% membership goal this year.
The joint presentation concluded with Mooney and Kozak affirming that NMPF will continue to work on the issues important to its membership. "We won't settle for mediocrity…We will never settle on anything less than what our members expect," they said.
The full text from Mooney and Kozak's joint speech is available on the NMPF website.
Source: NMPF news release, AgriTalk