American farm bureau delegates established policies for 2022. Key topics ranged from milk pricing and beef market transparency to urban agriculture.

American Farm Bureau Establishes 2022 Policies

Sabrina HalvorsonIndustry News Release

Farmer and rancher delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 103rd Convention adopted policies to guide the organization’s work in 2022. Key topics ranged from milk pricing and beef market transparency to urban agriculture.

“Delegates from all 50 state Farm Bureaus and Puerto Rico came together today to demonstrate the power of grassroots leadership,” said American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “The policies set forth will guide Farm Bureau in its mission to advocate for farmers and ranchers and build a sustainable future of safe and abundant food, fiber and renewable fuel for our entire nation and world.”

Delegates also re-elected AFBF President Zippy Duvall and Vice President Scott VanderWal for their fourth terms.

Long-standing frustration over imbalances in the meat industry led to calls for greater transparency in livestock markets.

As farmers’ labor struggles continue, delegates approved additional policies that build on existing AFBF policies regarding the need for employee stabilization and reforms to the guestworker program.

Delegates voted to bring more transparency to the federal milk pricing system. Several changes to policy include support for more a more consistent format for milk checks and a review and audit of the producer price differential on milk. Delegates also called for USDA to publish resources that show how each Federal Milk Marketing Order operates and differs by region.

Delegates updated policy on biofuels to include renewable diesel. The addition recognizes the innovation and potential that sustainable biofuels play in providing environmental benefits while creating opportunities for America’s farmers.

As farmers and ranchers continue to increase their reliance on digital technologies, delegates voted to support raising the standard for federal broadband projects to be at least 100 Mbps for both uploads and downloads.

Recognizing the growth of urban agriculture and importance of ensuring the success of all forms of agriculture, delegates voted to create new policy to support its continuation and acknowledge its economic contributions.

Beyond policy changes, delegates also elected members to serve on the AFBF board of directors and national program committees.

Dan Glessing, president of Minnesota Farm Bureau (Midwest Region); Brent Johnson, president of Iowa Farm Bureau (Midwest Region); and Eric Mayberry, president of Tennessee Farm Bureau (Southern Region), were elected to fill one-year terms on the AFBF board of directors. Jeb Smith, president of Florida Farm Bureau (Southern Region), was elected to a two-year term.

Twelve other state Farm Bureau presidents were re-elected to two-year terms to represent their regions on the board.

Midwest Region

Carl Bednarski, Michigan

Kevin Krentz, Wisconsin

Mark McHargue, Nebraska

Northeast Region

Rick Ebert, Pennsylvania

Ryck Suydam, New Jersey

Southern Region 

Mark Haney, Kentucky

Harry Ott, South Carolina

Rich Hillman, Arkansas

Jimmy Parnell, Alabama

Wayne Pryor, Virginia

Western Region

Ron Gibson, Utah

Bryan Searle, Idaho

National Program Committees

Vickie Bryant of Kentucky (Southern Region), Jennifer Cross of Maryland (Northeast Region), Margaret Gladden of Indiana (Midwest Region) and Dotty Jensen of Utah (Western Region) were re-elected to two-year terms on the Women’s Leadership Committee.

Alisha Schwertner of Texas was elected chair of the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee, taking over the position in February at the end of the Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference for a one-year term. Tanner Clark of Missouri was elected vice chair and Jessica Wade of Idaho was elected secretary. They will each serve one-year terms.