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.
Carl Bednarski, Michigan
Kevin Krentz, Wisconsin
Mark McHargue, Nebraska
Rick Ebert, Pennsylvania
Ryck Suydam, New Jersey
Mark Haney, Kentucky
Harry Ott, South Carolina
Rich Hillman, Arkansas
Jimmy Parnell, Alabama
Wayne Pryor, Virginia
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.