Farm Bureau: Wikis

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The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and commonly referred to as the Farm Bureau is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, and representing the interests of farmers and ranchers in the United States and is the largest farm organization in the United States.

It is headquartered in Washington, DC. It has about 2,800 county farm organizations which in turn elect representatives to state farm bureaus.



The Farm Bureau movement officially started in 1911 when John Barron, a farmer who graduated from Cornell University and worked as an extension agent in Broome County, New York. He served as a "farm bureau" representative for farmers with the Binghamton, New York Chamber of Commerce. The effort was financed by the United States Department of Agriculture and Lackawanna Railroad. The Broome County Farm Bureau soon separated from the Chamber of Commerce.

Other bureaus on a county level formed across the country.

In 1914, with the passage of the Smith-Lever act, Congress agreed to share, with the states, the cost of programs for providing what has come to be called "county agents," who furnish farmers information on improved methods of husbandry developed by the agricultural colleges and agricultural experiment stations.

This practice eventually ceased to exist after anger over government subsidization of agriculture.

Farmers meeting in Saline County, Missouri were the first to form a state-wide bureau in 1915.

The initial farm bureaus had a social and educational function furthering the extension service efforts, and they have additionally developed a lobbying presence as well.

The American Farm Bureau was formally created in 1919 in Chicago, Illinois. Its initial organization papers said:

The purpose of Farm Bureau is to make the business of farming more profitable, and the community a better place to live. Farm Bureau should provide an organization in which members may secure the benefits of unified efforts in a way which could never be accomplished through individual effort. - Statement originally approved by Farm Bureau members in 1920.[1]

The state and national Farm Bureaus continue to provide valuable consumer information regarding the efficiency and safety with which American food and fiber is produced. Great emphasis is placed on teaching elementary age school children where their food actually comes from.

The American Farm Bureau Federation relocated its headquarters from Park Ridge, Illinois to Washington, D.C. in 2003.[2]

Climate change skepticism

The Farm Bureau is skeptical of mainstream scientific opinion on climate change, with its official position being that "there is no generally agreed upon scientific assessment of the exact impact or extend of carbon emissions from human activities, their impact on past decades of warming or how they will affect future climate changes." The climate change session at its 2010 national meeting was entitled "Global Warming: A Red Hot Lie?" and featured climate change skeptic Christopher C. Horner.[3] The Bureau is also staunchly opposed to climate change legislation, including the cap and trade measures under consideration in the U.S. Congress, arguing that such measures would increase fuel and fertilizer prices for farmers. At its 2010 national meeting, delegates unanimously approved a harshly worded resolution that "strongly supports any legislative action that would suspend EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act."[4] The Union of Concerned Scientists sent a letter to the group just prior to its meeting pointing out that its climate change position runs counter to that of every major scientific organization, and urged it to support action on climate on change. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has stated that farmers have more to gain from cap and trade than they stand to lose.[4]


An organization independent of the Farm Bureau called FBL Financial Group based in Des Moines, Iowa sells insurance under the brand names of Farm Bureau Financial Services and EquiTrust Financial Services. It also uses the Farm Bureau logo. In March 2007 it reported assets of $12.6 billion.[5]


  • Bob Stallman, President
  • Bob Young, Chief Economist
  • Mark Maslyn, Executive Director, Public Policy
  • Don Lipton, Director, Public Relations

See also

Further reading


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Winter, Allison (12 January 2010). "Farm Bureau Fires Back Against Climate Bill's 'Power Grab'". New York Times. Retrieved 13 January 2010.  
  4. ^ a b Winter, Allison (01/13/2010). "Farm Bureau wants Congress to stop EPA on greenhouse gases". Energy and Environment News. Retrieved 13 January 2010.  
  5. ^


External links

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