Results: From Unity, Caring and Sharing
Over 6,000 family farmers and ranchers converged in Atlanta, for the 92nd Annual American Farm Bureau meeting. Each individual represented a unique ingredient of what collectively makes up American agriculture. Over the course of four days, old acquaintances were reunited, new friendships were forged, valuable information was gained, lessons were learned and the policy to guide Farm Bureau through the next year created through the ingenuity of grassroot family farmers and ranchers.
“Producing Results” was a very appropriate theme for this year’s meeting. President Bob Stallman set the tone in his opening address, clearly laying out the roadmap to help guide the delegates through the challenging task ahead. He stressed unity in agriculture, putting disagreements aside and focusing on mutual objectives to benefit all. Invaluable results can be attained through the diverse collective that compiles American agriculture. Respecting and valuing the insight that comes from the large and small, the traditional and organic, the farmer and the rancher, the row cropper and cotton farmer, will yield guidance and direction for the future.
President Stallman also impressed the importance for farmers and ranchers to reach out and share their individual stories and referenced the Agchat Foundation as an example. People inherently want to talk to people, be listened to and be respected for their views. This dynamic is essential not only for positive conversations to take place through social media, but also through the process of creating the policy that guides Farm Bureau.
Keynote speaker, Mike Rowe, further reiterated the importance of the American farmer and rancher to be proud of brown, the dirt that we work with, enhance and conserve, and to find our voices as our own spokespeople. Mr. Rowe gave accolades to the Farm American program, as an example, for farmers and ranchers, representing the diversity of American agriculture, to reach out, share and engage in conversation with consumers across this great country. Transparency and availability is critical, not only in outreach to the public, but also when debating issues on the delegate floor.
Our annual meeting culminated with more than 340 delegates, representing every state, every commodity and every production practice, engaged together to blend the policy that will guide this grassroots organization for the next year. Just as conversations should be through social media, the debate on the floor was professional, respectful and civil. The process makes me feel proud to be a part of the Farm Bureau family. Voices were heard, ideas listened to, views respected, actions taken that reflect this great industry that we love; for its family values, its love of country and passion for caring for the environment and people of the world.
God bless all who took part and made #AFBF11 such a positive experience, even if we did experience a “little” weather.