American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting held in Atlanta Local Farm Bureau leaders attend, participate
American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting held in Atlanta
Local Farm Bureau leaders attend, participate
Over 4,000 Farm Bureau members from across the country gathered in Atlanta, Georgia January 7 through January 12 for the 103rd Annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
Some of the Cook County Farm Bureau Board members and spouses that attended and participated in American Farm Bureau Federation National Convention in Atlanta in January.
Cook County Farm Bureau was represented by Pres. Janet McCabe, VP Gerry and Linda Kopping, Sec. – Treas. Ruth Zeldenrust, Dan and Karen Biernacki, Jim Bloomstrand, Tim Stuenkel, Jim Gutzmer, Roger Freeman, Mark and Heidi Yunker, and Bob Rohrer.
Welcome to the National Convention
AFBF President, Zippy Duvall, welcomed attendees to his home state of Georgia and spoke to the crowd about the national organization’s successes and upcoming challenges in an opening keynote address.
Duvall discussed the role Farm Bureau displayed in presenting farmer solutions for federal climate change discussions within the administration.
"We started by looking not at our differences, but at our common goals," Duvall said. "Together, we highlighted the great work being done on sustainability. We established principles and made policy proposals to advance voluntary, market-driven approaches."
A pair of AFBF coalitions — Farmers for a Sustainable Future and the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance — guided climate policy discussions among federal lawmakers and underpinned programs at USDA, Duvall said.
Duvall also called on AFBF members to recruit new voices and perspectives, "from all backgrounds, crops, races, and regions."
Illinois Farm Bureau honored for outstanding programs
Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) received a New Horizon Award in recognition of the organization's efforts on mental health.
Illinois Farm Bureau Richard Guebert Jr., left, accepts the New Horizon award from American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall the 103rd Annual Convention in Atlanta. (AFBF photo).
The award recognizes new innovative state Farm Bureau programs. Illinois' award stemmed from its one-day Illinois Ag Mental Health Summit in March and the organization's mental health resources.
"What an honor for Illinois Farm Bureau to receive the New Horizon award," said IFB President Richard Guebert Jr., who accepted the award in Atlanta on IFB's behalf. "It speaks to the ability of county Farm Bureaus and staff to work together on behalf of our members to lift the issue of mental health to the forefront. County Farm Bureaus have worked nonstop to bring resources to our members. Many thanks to GoTeam member Adrienne DeSutter and husband, Drew, for their leadership in this topic."
IFB also received Awards of Excellence in four program areas for implementing outstanding member programs and membership achievement in 2021. IFB earned awards in Membership Value; Advocacy; Leadership & Business Development; and Engagement & Outreach.
President of the United States, Joe Biden
During a recorded video message to convention attendees from the President of the United States, President Joe Biden expressed his appreciation for farmers and ranchers and highlighted the administration’s priorities related to the Packers and Stockyards Act, infrastructure improvements, and promoting fair competition in agricultural markets.
US Secretary of Agriculture addresses convention attendees
Following the message from the U.S. President, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack shared his thoughts on broadband deployment, trade negotiations, and investments in livestock processing capabilities. Vilsack also addressed the prospect of climate-smart commodities.
“Listening to Farm Bureau and listening to those in agriculture, we know that it’s important to establish a partnership in this effort [to create climate-smart commodities],” Secretary Vilsack said. “This is not something that’s top-down, this is really a bottom-up effort.”
“We know that it has to be voluntary, and it has to be incentive-based. It can’t be regulated,” Vilsack continued.
In other AFBF Convention news…
A border collie from Florida, “Fit,” was named the 2022 Farm Dog of the Year.
Attendees communicated to the USEPA and elected leaders regarding Changes to Clean Water Rule that will “Hurt Family Farms”.
Members enjoyed the entertainment offered by comedian Jeff Allen.
Terry Gilbert from Kentucky, chair of the AFBF Women’s leadership committee from 2001-2015 and Sony Perdue, United States Sec. of Agriculture 2017-2021, were awarded the Outstanding Service Award by the American Farm Bureau Federation Board.
Terry Gilbert Sony Perdue