Business Politics

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Farm Bureau Federation

History

The AFBF was formed in 1919 when delegates from thirty state bureaus converged in Chicago, Illinois to lobby for the passage of specific legislations.

What they represent

Calling itself the Voice of Agriculture,” the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is a non-partisan, non-sectarian, non-governmental, and nonprofit organization of US farmers, concerted in promoting and protecting their interests at the national and grassroots levels.

Omnipresent in every state and Puerto Rico, the American Farm Bureau Federation seeks to advance and enhance the social status, quality of life, political clout, and literacy of Americans in rural and ranch communities.

Roughly five million members compose AFBF, the largest farm organization in the US. It counts around 2,800 county organizations, whose chosen members represent their respective states. In this configuration, the AFBF represents the farmers of America at all levels.

Major issues

Notably, AFBF usually conducts an annual crop survey, forms product advisory committees, and holds nationwide conferences on policymaking. At the county level, the AFBF has organized excursions, workshops, forums, and such.

When its lower microcosms are taken as a whole, the AFBF could wield much political influence. First, each state bureau would reach a consensus on issues and adopt policies. From there, it would send representatives to the yearly meeting. Policies would then be formulated with the votes of these delegates, in behalf of all the nation’s farm bureaus.

Such policies touch on many issues pertinent to rural America, including the exploitation of natural resources, taxation, endangered species, food safety and labeling, property rights, dairy policy, biotechnology and even uniform trucking regulations.

If anything, the AFBF is a staunch supporter of any effort to develop rural communities, even if it takes adopting value-added agriculture, competitive taxation incentives, tapping renewable energy, and exploiting programs recommended by the US Department of Agriculture. For the same reasons, the AFBF also seeks to bring the same standard of education from urban areas to rural children. The AFBF is also taking steps to improve infrastructure of backward communities, and deliver ample health care.

Even as it opposes some provisions of the Clean Air Act, the AFBF is a keen follower of the effects of climate change. In this vein, the AFBF welcomes the idea of a carbon-trading program that works in an agricultural setup. It is also in support of renewable energy tax incentives.

Conversely, AFBF vehemently objects to the idea of animal rights being equal to human rights, although it claims to support the proper treatment of animals. Likewise, the AFBF is up in arms against any move to ban animal testing.

AFBF also aims to repeal such measures as Death Taxes and the Alternative Minimum Tax. It is also updated on issues as the North American Free Trade Agreement, the free trade agreement with Colombia, and permanent normal trade relations with Russia.

To these ends, the federation has set aside a panel of registered lobbyists in the FBACT or the Farm Bureau’s Agricultural Contact Team. Its members maintain everyday contact with congresspersons and congressional committees.

In 1967, the federation established American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture to financially sponsor research. From monitoring Africanized bees the foundation has grown to fund research on agricultural watersheds, farm marketing, nutrient managing, remote sensing technology and so forth.

At first, Broome County, New York hosted the only county farm bureau in the US. Then, in 1915, farm bureaus began to be established all over Missouri.