American Farm Bureau Federation
|Vincent "Zippy" Duvall (President)|
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), more commonly referred to as Farm Bureau (FB), is an independent, non-governmental, voluntary organization governed by and representing farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing their problems and formulating action to achieve educational improvement, economic opportunity and social advancement and, thereby, to promote the national well-being. Farm Bureau is local, county, state, national and international in its scope and influence and is non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-secret in character. Farm Bureau is the voice of agricultural producers at all levels. AFBF is headquartered in Washington, D.C. There are 50 state affiliates and one in Puerto Rico.
The Farm Bureau movement officially started in 1911 when John Barron, a farmer who graduated from Cornell University, worked as an extension agent in Broome County, New York. He served as a "Farm Bureau" representative for farmers with the Binghamton, New York Chamber of Commerce. The effort was financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Lackawanna Railroad. The Broome County Farm Bureau was soon separated from the Chamber of Commerce. Other farm bureaus on a county level formed across the country.
In 1914, with the passage of the Smith–Lever Act of 1914, the U.S. Congress agreed to share with the states the cost of programs for providing what had come to be called "county agents", who furnished farmers information on improved methods of animal husbandry and crop production developed by the agricultural colleges and agricultural experiment stations, which has evolved into the modern day Cooperative Extension Service, shaped in part by political opposition to agricultural subsidies.
Farmers meeting in Saline County, Missouri, were the first to form a statewide Farm Bureau in 1915. The initial Bureaus had a social and educational function furthering the extension service efforts, and they have additionally developed a lobbying presence as well.
The purpose of Farm Bureau is to make the business of farming more profitable, and the community a better place to live. Farm Bureau should provide an organization in which members may secure the benefits of unified efforts in a way which could never be accomplished through individual effort. - Statement originally approved by Farm Bureau members in 1920.
Each November since 1986, AFBF has reported the results of an informal survey on the average retail cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner, including a 16-pound turkey and all the trimmings. In 2017, the cost was $49.12, https://www.fb.org/newsroom/farm-bureau-survey-reveals-lowest-thanksgiving-dinner-cost-in-five-years.
Policy is changing constantly, and it has a direct impact on farmers and ranchers. Having a voice – a seat at the table and an impact on policy – is critical. Beginning at the grassroots level and involving Farm Bureau members’ advocacy efforts across the country, all of agriculture speaks with one voice through the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture works to build awareness, understanding and a positive perception of agriculture through education. The Foundation is creating agriculturally literate citizens through our educational programs, grants, scholarships, classroom curriculum, and volunteer training.
The Foundation also builds relationships with educational institutions to introduce agricultural education tools and resources, and encourages adoption at the community, county, state, and national level.
From its beginnings nearly a century ago, Farm Bureau has existed to give members the tools they need to succeed. That can mean financial expertise, communication skills, advocacy opportunities, training and opportunities to network with and learn from fellow farmers and ranchers. It all adds up to helping America’s farmers and ranchers stay strong and prosperous.
For nearly a century Farm Bureau members have joined together from coast to coast and become the Voice of Agriculture. Farm Bureau continues to evolve to serve the needs of members and their families on and off the farm or ranch. The Farm Bureau legacy includes leadership within local communities, advocacy on rural issues, public service and outreach, agriculture literacy and environmental initiatives that protect the environment and preserve its productive beauty for the next generation to utilize and enjoy.
Joining Farm Bureau provides your family with exclusive discounts on national brands, plus valued member benefits.
AFBF made The Hill's 2017 list of top association lobbying groups and was dubbed a "farm policy powerhouse" for tracking issues like crop insurance, voluntary labeling requirements for bioengineered foods and disease surveillance response. "And that only scratches the surface of its work," according to The Hill.11
AFBF supported the Fighting Hunger Incentive Act of 2014 (H.R. 4719; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend the Internal Revenue Code to permanently extend and expand certain expired provisions that provided an enhanced tax deduction for businesses that donated their food inventory to charitable organizations. AFBF argued that without the tax write-off, "it is cheaper in most cases for these types of businesses to throw their food away than it is to donate the food".
- Vincent "Zippy" Duvall, Current President, Elected January 2016
- Bob Stallman, Former President, 2000–2016
- Dean Kleckner, Former President, 1986–2000
List of Farm Bureaus
- We are Farm Bureau Archived August 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., American Farm Bureau Federation, retrieved December 9, 2011.
- of Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Up Slightly This Year, American Farm Bureau Federation, November 10, 2011.
- "CBO - H.R. 4719". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "Fighting Hunger Incentive Act will increase food bank donations". Farm Bureau News. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
11. The Hill, Top Lobbyists 2017: Grass roots, http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/top-lobbyists/358132-top-lobbyists-2017-associations
- Barnes, John K. (August 1922). "J. R. Howard, Leader Of American Farmers". The World's Work: A History of Our Time. XLIV: 509–518. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
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