Wyo Farm Bureau meeting will feature faces of agricultureWritten by Christy Hemken
The meeting, held Nov. 6-8 at the Sheridan Holiday Inn, will feature speakers addressing agriculture issues and providing tools on how agriculture can put a “face” on those issues. Featured speakers will be the immediate past chair of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Young Farmer & Rancher Committee Chris Chinn, AFBF congressional relations and public relations staff and a farm and ranch photographer.
AFBF Senior Director Rick Krause, Congressional Relations, will address federal lands issues, endangered species and water at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 7. “When you look at Wyoming faces of agriculture, you see an industry of folks who have many different issues to tackle while they produce food,” says WyFB Executive Vice President Ken Hamilton. “Rick’s presentation will be full of information on what is happening in the national arena on federal lands, endangered species and water—all important issues to Wyoming producers.”
“Rick has a long history with Wyoming issues,” says Hamilton. “He was involved in Farm Bureau’s efforts to prevent wolves being imported into Wyoming. He is currently working on topics like the listing of the polar bear as an endangered species as well as greenhouse gas regulations.”
During the Friday noon luncheon, Ken Kerns with the Coalbed Natural Gas Alliance will speak on “Coalbed Natural Gas Tax Revenue in Wyoming and the Powder River Basin.”
Photographer Paul Mobley will share stories and photos from his new book “American Farmer” at the awards banquet Nov. 7. According to Mobley, he is a New York City person who was redeemed by spending three years traveling the country, including Wyoming, photographing farmers and ranchers. Mobley offers a unique perspective on how pictures place a “face” on agriculture and will also interject photography tips into his presentation. Mobley will also have a book signing at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
The Distinguished Service and Farm Bureau Leadership Awards will be presented at the Friday evening awards banquet.
Chris Chinn, a Missouri hog farmer, will share how assuming that neighbors know what you do almost put her family’s farm, and other farms in her area, out of business. Chinn will tell her story Nov. 8 at 9 a.m. and she will also show how all producers can “Put a Face on American Agriculture” by talking about what they do.
“This year’s speakers all emphasize an important part of our daily work and that is to tell the story of Wyoming agriculture and the issues on which we must work to keep agriculture viable in the state thus ensuring open spaces and food to eat,” says Hamilton.
In addition to the featured speakers, members will work on policy development, which is the main focus of the meeting. “The grassroots process of policy development gives our organization great strength when working on issues affecting our members,” says WyFB President Perry Livingston. “The purpose of the state meeting is to bring members from across the state together to consider resolutions brought forth from the local level. Those resolutions that pass will become a part of WyFB’s policy book and guide the work of the organization. The resolutions with national impact proceed to the national level as well.”
“One of the big topics is the brucellosis issue,” notes Hamilton. “Several resolutions have been submitted on how to address different aspects of brucellosis. A lot of folks are concerned about the reservoir of brucellosis in wildlife.”
He says there will also be discussion about wolves, given the change in their status. “Other issues such as water, government regulations and taxes will also be discussed by the voting delegates,” he explains.
“The Wyoming Farm Bureau is, and has been for a long time, a major voice for agriculture in the state of Wyoming,” says Livingston. “If you join Farm Bureau, you are able to participate in all of these meetings and add your voice and story to the work done on behalf of agriculture.”