Policy Statement

What does TGFA stand for?

TGFA supports protection of the Free Enterprise System by reducing unrealistic and unnecessary government regulations and putting creative powers back into the hands of the producer/businessman. 

We need to reestablish the entrepreneurial spirit that brought our country to where it is today.  American businesses will profit from a return to less government involvement in the private industry.

TGFA opposes additional employer mandates as a method of paying for government programs.  TGFA supports state and federal efforts in working with industry to gain compliance instead of the use of punitive measures such as field citations.  TGFA supports government’s efforts at deregulation to allow for a more competitive economic system that benefits both large and small businesses. The Association believes that a competitive industry will be forced to operate in a fair and legal manner.

TGFA’s Core Purpose and Values 

Texas Grain & Feed Association strives to improve the business climate of our industry. TGFA continues its tradition of fair trade based on honesty and integrity. It achieves this while listening to its members’ concerns and serving as a unified voice in legislative and regulatory matters. TGFA provides an environment that promotes both social and professional interaction and fellowship, resulting in lifetime memberships and life long bonds.    

TGFA Issues of Interest

General Agriculture

Texas Grain & Feed Association supports policies and programs that foster full, prudent utilization of our agricultural resources, including but not limited to:

•  Fostering growth of agricultural enterprises in a fair, competitive environment.
•  Eliminating free-trade barriers.
•  Emergency Assistance programs that preserve and protect our traditional capitalistic free-market economy.
•  Industry, governmental and regulatory programs/policies that only reward good, ethical business practices.

Property Rights 

The grain and feed industry is highly dependent upon the success of our state’s farmers and ranchers; thus we aggressively support their right to control the use of their private property, including their “right to farm.”

Environmental Laws and Regulations 

TGFA supports and encourages efforts to protect the environment of our nation and state while recognizing the need for prudent caution and restraint where the rights of people appear threatened by such efforts.  In this regard, we reject regulations that create economic burdens and achieve minimal environmental objectives.

TGFA encourages regulatory agencies to empower our industry to achieve standards of performance without dictating the methods employed for such achievement, such as carbon cap and trade schemes.

Feed & Grain 

TGFA supports laws and regulations that insure and enhance the safety of our nation’s food supply and promote fair competition within our industry. We oppose government programs that artificially distort the market.

GMO 

TGFA supports agricultural biotechnology and other scientific and technological innovations that contribute to a safe and high-quality food and feed supply that is responsive to customer needs. TGFA supports the right of buyers/customers to exercise choice and preferences when purchasing those agricultural commodities and products.  We strongly support government’s timely, science–based authorizations or approvals of biotech products. 

FEED 

We support the following:

•  Review and approval of the model bill approach to feed regulation to facilitate interstate movement of feed and feed products. 
•  The use of self-inspection and certification programs in achieving state and federal objectives.
•  A science based approach to mitigating food borne illness.
•  The use of an official sampling method for mycotoxins by both industry and regulatory agencies alike. 
•  Interstate harmony on analysis and regulation of mycotoxins

 

GRAIN 

We support the following: 

  A strong, enforceable state and federal licensing program for public warehouses and other businesses  that provide similar services as a public warehouse.  A public warehouse operator should continue to be afforded the opportunity to be licensed by either the federal or state program.
  Equal validity for warehouse receipts issued under state law as compared to receipts issued under federal law.
  Grain Dealers and their customers should have full contractual authority to establish quality standards and other terms governing their business relationship.

Taxes

TGFA supports the exemption from sales tax of grain bins and related grain-moving equipment as a means of encouraging more value-added grain processing activity in Texas. We support a regulatory and/or legislative effort to classify Texas grain as a tax-exempt raw material for ad valorem tax purposes. TGFA supports the fair application of all taxes including, but not limited to, ad valorem and franchise taxes.

 

Workplace Safety 

TGFA supports and encourages continuing improvement in workplace safety, including joint, cooperative efforts with OSHA.  

  These efforts and resulting regulations should be fair and balanced in considering the needs of both workers and employers.  
  Cooperative compliance is effective and desirable; punitive enforcement is destructive and undesirable. 

Insurance 

TGFA supports workmen’s compensation laws that allow businesses to self-insure for workmen’s compensation claims.

TGFA supports state and federal initiatives to guarantee the availability of business related insurance when insurance is required in order to conduct business in the state.

 

Transportation 

Fair, competitive, safe and unimpeded transportation services, including truck and rail, are absolutely vital to the grain and feed industry.

TRUCK 

TGFA believes that allowances for axle weights must be continually reviewed for adequacy.  We support the 2060 permit.  We also support legislation that simplifies the rules for the 2060 permit used by our members who operate in more than one county.

TGFA supports the increase in truck weights to 97,000 pounds with the addition of a third axle.

RAILROAD 

TGFA supports both state and federal efforts to ensure quality rail service in Texas without imposing undue economic burdens on rail carriers.

TGFA supports legislation that strengthens the independence of the STB, improves how it functions (including allowing much-needed ongoing dialogue amongst Board members); requires more transparency concerning the status of its proceedings and the nature and disposition of complaints brought before the agency; and provides for a voluntary arbitration process for disputes involving unreasonable rail rates, unreasonable rail practices and rail carriers’ common-carrier service obligations– with binding outcomes if utilized – that also recognizes and provides for the existence of private sector arbitration systems for resolving such disputes.  We support legislation that authorizes the STB to initiate an investigation of rail practices – except for rate complaints – on its own initiative, without having to wait for the filing of a formal complaint by a freight rail user or group of users.     

TGFA supports property rights for agribusiness owners when railroads file for abandonment or bankruptcy.