During its 104th Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the American Farm Bureau Federation farmer and rancher delegates adopted 2023 policies ranging from “expanding risk management programs and improving dairy pricing transparency to battling hunger.”
And, notably, voting delegates also formalized Farm Bureau’s position opposing the 2022 Waters of the U.S. rule and a proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rule if it requires Scope 3 emissions reporting from farms.
A Jan. 10 release from the AFBF said, “Delegates were polled regarding their farms at the beginning of the voting session. The results show almost 99 percent (334 delegates) of those who cast votes operate family farms and almost 65 percent represent small- to mid-size farms as defined by USDA.”
AFBF President Zippy Duvall noted, “Delegates demonstrated the strength of Farm Bureau by coming together to represent hard-working farm families from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. There’s a lot of work to do in 2023 as Congress drafts the next farm bill, and the policies set forth today will guide AFBF as we work to ensure farmers and ranchers can continue to meet the growing needs of families in America and around the world.”
During the AFBF business meeting delegates also voted to modernize the farm bill by expanding baseline funding, developing more flexible disaster relief programs and extending protection to more specialty crops.
“Recognizing growing food insecurity in the United States, delegates approved new policy to support access to nutrition programs including connecting farms directly with food banks, increasing the number of SNAP-approved food sales outlets, and other efforts to make produce available to families living in food deserts,” the release said.
Regarding trade, delegates added policy for USDA “to continue working with the Mexican government to drop a proposed ban on imports of biotech corn. The new policy also encourages USDA to urge the Mexican government to accept established science on the safety of U.S. biotech products.”
Beyond policy changes, delegates also elected members to serve on the AFBF board of directors and national program committees.
Chris Hoffman, president of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Wayne Stafford, president of Maryland Farm Bureau (Northeast Region) were elected to fill one-year terms on the AFBF board of directors. Joe Newland, president of Kansas Farm Bureau (Midwest Region); and Scott Mugrage, president of Alaska Farm Bureau (Western Region) were elected to two-year terms on the AFBF board of directors.
Fifteen other state Farm Bureau presidents were re-elected to two-year terms to represent their regions on the board.
Rich Guebert, Illinois
Randy Kron, Indiana
Brent Johnson, Iowa
Dan Glessing, Minnesota
David Fisher, New York
Joe Tisbert, Vermont
Tom McCall, Georgia
Jim Harper, Louisiana
Mike McCormick, Mississippi
Shawn Harding, North Carolina
Rodd Moesel, Oklahoma
Eric Mayberry, Tennessee
Russell Boening, Texas
Stefanie Smallhouse, Arizona
Jamie Johansson, California
Matt Fimon of Virginia was elected chair of the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee, taking over the position in March at the end of the Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference for a one-year term. Heather Graham of Kentucky was elected vice chair and Joel Currier of Colorado was elected secretary. They will each serve one-year terms.
Isabella Chism of Indiana was re-elected chair of the Women’s Leadership Committee and Lorenda Overman of North Carolina was re-elected vice chair, each for a two-year term. Lou Nave of Tennessee (Southern Region), Lisa Wherry of Pennsylvania (Northeast Region), Marieta Hauser of Kansas (Midwest Region) and Shawn Wood of Arizona (Western Region) were re-elected to two-year terms.
Daryn Westergard of Utah was elected chair of AFBF’s Promotion & Education Committee; Alan Clark of Idaho was elected vice chair. Both will serve two-year terms beginning in March.