In front of a celebratory gathering of about 6,000 farmers and ranchers from across the nation, American
Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall opened AFBF’s 100th Annual Convention by outlining a few of the organization’s many historic accomplishments – from leading the way on the nation’s first farm bill in the 1930s to helping develop the Food for Peace Program in the 1950s.
As AFBF begins a new century of service to American agriculture, Duvall said the organization will continue to be
guided by the honorable principle that “farmers want to feed people.”
That job is not without challenges, such as the weather disasters, economic challenges and trade complications seen in 2018. Duvall, however, said 2018 was also a year marked by big victories on issues affecting farm and ranch families across the nation.
“Most of us are happy to see 2018 in the rear-view mirror, but on the policy front 2018 could go down in our history as a huge success story,” Duvall told the AFBF members gathered in New Orleans
or the organization’s centennial meeting.
The list of victories includes tax reform to income tax rates and the estate tax, passage of the 2018 farm bill and reform of expensive and overreaching regulations. Chief among reformed regulations is the new Clean Water Rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. The new rule is being proposed to replace the flawed and unworkable 2015 WOTUS rule.
AFBF’s centennial celebration included a slideshow review of the organization’s history and a Field to Fork Face-off game show at the IdeAg Trade Show. The game was a “Family Feud” style competition with topics relating to agriculture. To view the AFBF history review visit www.fb.org/about/overview.
“Farm Bureau members throughout our history, and still today, have always answered the call to feed, fuel and defend our nation. I am grateful for this wonderful organization,” Duvall said. “Its founding 100 years ago was truly a breakthrough in
American history. The founding fathers and mothers of our nation and of Farm Bureau were guided by a divine hand, a hand that still guides us today.”
During the AFBF business session on Jan. 15, voting delegates adopted the organization’s position on a variety of farm-related issues. Four policies submitted by GFB were adopted by AFBF as its national policy.
GFB’s policy recommendations adopted by AFBF were: U.S. Department of Transportation vehicle registration information be kept confidential; farmers be allowed to update base acres in the next farm bill; proportional federal assistance for producers harmed by tariffs during trade negotiations; and funding for Southeastern land grant universities to market live and processed sheep and goats.
GFB President Gerald Long was re- elected to the AFBF Board of Directors for a second two-year term.
GFB received an AFBF Awards of Excellence for demonstrating outstand- ing achievements in the following four program areas: advocacy, engagement & outreach; leadership & business develop- ment and membership value.