Destination: Hawaii

Created: 1/06/12 (Fri) | Topic: Events

A lot will be going on when close to 6, 000 Farm Bureau members gather in Honolulu for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 93rd annual meeting. They’ll reunite with old friends; attend informative conferences and compete for awards. 

"We accomplish a lot of things with our annual meeting every year," says AFBF President Bob Stallman. "But if you really want to boil it down to the most important reason that we have the meeting, it’s where our delegates get together and debate the policy positions of this organization for the coming year. That is what guides us as we work, whether it’s in the legislative or regulatory arena to do things to help improve the situation for farmers and ranchers."
Stallman says that delegate debate is the culmination of a long process.
"Those policy positions originated at our local level and counties. They were considered by the counties and passed, considered by the states and passed and then put together in a comprehensive report. That’s what the delegates get to take a look at and consider but the key point is that those policies were developed from the from the grassroots. It wasn’t the board of directors of this organization or staff. It was developed by our members out in the countryside. And that’s what gives us a lot of credibility when we finish the process and take those positions to Capitol Hill."
Stallman says Farm Bureau member really do talk to members of Congress about those issues. 
"Our members come into Washington, D.C., sort of in hordes. We’ll have three to five thousand of our members come in over the course of the year. They go up to the Hill and take our policy positions to their individual member of Congress or their United States senator. And we have such credibility when that happens because those are the people who vote to elect those members and so when they come and tell them that’s what they believe should happen and that’s what AFBF is up here trying to promote that gives us a lot of credibility as we go forward to try to move legislation." 
North Dakota Farm Bureau will have 44 in attendance at the meeting, which gets underway on Sunday, January 8 and continues through Wednesday, January11.
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