Wyoming Farm Bureau
Wyoming Farm Bureau - State president re-elected, new president sought at national levelWritten by Natasha Wheeler
Cody – “Farm Bureau continues to work for agriculture all over the state of Wyoming, whether people are Farm Bureau members or not,” stated Wyoming Farm Bureau (WyFB) President Perry Livingston.
Livingston runs a cow/calf operation with his family in Crook and Weston counties, and he was elected to his 11th term as president of WyFB at the organization’s 96th annual meeting held in Cody, Nov 11-14.
During his presidential address at the meeting, Livingston explained that WyFB works with Farm Bureau in other states, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and legal councils to ward off challenges that face agriculture in the United States.
Representatives from Farm Bureau are currently involved in litigation concerning issues with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Endangered Species Act and the Waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS).
“In addition to AFBF challenging the WOTUS rule in the Texas federal district court, 11 other district court lawsuits have been filed challenging the WOTUS rule,” he mentioned.
In further updates, Livingston noted that the current AFBF President Bob Stallman will be retiring from his position this year.
“Along with the board of directors, he has made AFBF a very connection-strong organization,” he said, complimenting Stallman on his rapport with other agricultural organizations as well as his communication with both domestic and foreign representatives.
“Stallman is a great leader for agriculture,” he added. “He will be missed.”
Four candidates are now seeking the AFBF presidency from states around the nation.
“All of the individuals are state Farm Bureau presidents or retiring Farm Bureau presidents, and they are all well qualified,” stated Livingston.
Kevin Rogers has a commercial hay operation near Mesa, Ariz. on deeded and leased ground that is highly visible from the highway.
“Barry Bushue is the sitting vice president for AFBF now. He is a horticultural grower, and all of his retail comes straight off of the farm. He has interaction with the public day-in and day-out,” he explained.
The third candidate, Zippy Duvall from Georgia, runs approximately 400 mother cows on a commercial livestock operation.
“Don Villwock is a corn and soybean famer from Illinois, and he’s been on the board for an extended period of time,” noted Livingston.
The next AFBF president will be elected to a two-year term by voting delegates during the AFBF annual convention and trade show in Orlando, Fla. on Jan. 12.
“I’ve had the opportunity to sit on committees of the AFBF with all of these gentlemen, and any one of them would serve us well,” Livingston remarked.
Bushue’s run for the presidency also opens up a position for a new vice president and two candidates have expressed their interest in taking on the role.
“Dean Norton is a dairy producer from New York, and John Hoblick is a greenhouse operator from Florida,” he explained, adding that he is looking forward to the upcoming AFBF annual meeting.
Wyoming board members
At the state level, Todd Fornstrom of Laramie County will be serving his third term as elected WyFB vice president, and Dale Heggem of Torrington has been elected to his fifth term as director-at-large.
“I appreciate the trust the members have in me to serve WyFB,” noted Fornstrom. “I have been honored to serve in this position. I do thoroughly enjoy the work we do for Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers.”
Cole Coxbill was also re-elected to his position and will be serving his second term as the state committee chair for the Young Farmer and Rancher committee. Coxbill farms with his family in Goshen County, raising corn, alfalfa, sugar beets, dry edible beans, wheat and cattle.
The WyFB state board includes Livingston, Fornstrom, Heggem, Coxbill and five district directors. David Garber is the northeast district director, Kevin Baars serves as the southeast district director, Tim Pexton is the central district director, Glen Reed is the northwest district director, and the southwest district director is Justin Ellis.
“It is an honor to serve the Federation members as we work together to keep agriculture strong here in Wyoming,” Livingston remarked.