Producing Results Through Grassroots Agvocacy
American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman started off the 2011 Annual meeting with a message of confidence, teamwork and optimism, despite the financial and regulatory challenges that are facing American agriculture.
2011 marks the 50th year in row of continued membership growth for American Farm Bureau, due in large part for its ability to produce results in protecting American farmers and ranchers.
“America’s farm and ranch families are all about producing. And, you are good at it! You evaluate what the market wants. You produce. And you deliver.
You show up long before most workdays start and you stay long after others have gone home. You make the gears of American production run – efficiently, sustainably, even miraculously.” AFBF President Bob Stallman
Challenges were discussed, including regulations that are “downsizing American agriculture, mothballing our productivity and out sourcing are farms.” Whether the issue is greenhouse gas regulations, endangered species mandates expansive new rules for water, over-regulation in endangering our industry and threatening our livelihood.
President Stallman spelled out clearly, “the clear and present danger” to American agriculture stemming from one primary source, the Environmental Protection Agency. The American Farm Bureau will not “stand idly by” while opponents of American agriculture try to bury us in red tape, costly regulation and try to destroy the most productive and efficient system in the world.
Mr. Stallman focused on positive nature of Farm Bureau. He praised the diversity of the family-based, grassroots organization, mentioning how our diverse productivity allows our society the luxury of debating how to produce food versus where to get food.
He hit the nail on the head stating that defining farmers is not something that should be done. Stallman further elaborated on the groundbreaking alliance of 23 farm and ranch groups to form the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. It is one of the greatest unity-building actions in the history of American agriculture. The goals of this alliance include increasing consumer knowledge, restoring the trust in our nation’s food system and collaborating with the entire food chain.
American farmers and ranchers are committed to the continued production of safe, wholesome and nutritious food, enhancing the environment, and providing for the welfare of their animals and communities. President Stallman reiterated the belief of Farm Bureau in farmers and consumers, engaged in conversation, on shared values.
The AgChat Foundation was mentioned as one example of dedicated farmers and ranchers, working together and utilizing social media to build bridges and grow communities. It is the efforts of the AgChat Foundation, the California Agricultural Communications Coalition (Know A California Farmer), and the Farm American Project , also discussed in a previous Commonsense Agriculture post, that are changing the direction of traditional messaging. It is the embracement of reaching out to the public, listening to their questions and concerns and then engaging in positive and productive dialogue that will help change the future of American agriculture. Listening is crucial.
President Stallman closed his remarks discussing the challenges in this next year, including balancing the national budget. There will be many hard choices to be made and the delegates at this annual meeting have the opportunity to give the American Farm Bureau clear direction. Stallman challenged the delegates to provide “strong, assertive policy on Farm Programs” with a big-picture strategy.
“Through Farm Bureau, we will uphold the honor and dignity of our profession, the character of our industry and the success of our nation. Together, we produce results.”
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- @ShepNewsTeam Hey Shep, there's another 6 hrs of CA north of SFO...that's not the northern border...we're flooding too. #FYI 1 month ago
- @JonesOrganics Appears to be an average one, like I remember as a kid... 2'+ at ranch, 10'-18' on surrounding summits. 1 month ago
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