Iowa farmers find themselves at a crossroads, faced with state and federal budget cuts, a down-turned economy and difficult commodity markets. These challenges impact not just farmers, but all Iowans who depend on the continued availability of safe, affordable food grown right here in Iowa.
These and many other issues will be discussed at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation's (IFBF) 91st annual meeting Dec. 2 and 3 at the Polk County Convention Center in Des Moines. The meeting will be held in conjunction with Iowa Farm Bureau Week (Nov. 29 – Dec. 5), as proclaimed by Gov. Culver.
This is the "Right Time" to plan the future of agriculture in Iowa
"Iowa Farm Bureau's 91st annual meeting theme, 'Right Time, Right Now,' is a perfect testament to the challenges facing Iowa farmers as they work to provide food, fiber and energy for a growing world population," says IFBF President Craig Lang. "Our members believe we stand on the precipice of great opportunity, provided we take the time, 'right now,' to make some tough decisions for the betterment of all." In his keynote address on December 3, Lang will speak to Farm Bureau members about the difficulties facing the state and its farmers and opportunities to meet these difficulties. His speech will start at 8 a.m., opening Thursday's general session.
Guests from Monsanto, Pioneer, Syngenta, Heartland Power REC, Iowa Office of Energy Independence, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Iowa Soybean Association, National Soil Tilth Lab and Iowa State University (ISU) will also join the conversation, offering their insights during panel discussions.
- Tracy Blackmer of ISA, Jerry Hatfield of National Soil Tilth Lab and Matt Helmers of ISU will discuss reducing nitrogen use Dec. 2 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Roger Tjarks of Heartland Power, Greg Watkins of the Iowa Office of Energy Independence and Kenric Scheevel of Dairyland Power will discuss issues surrounding the regulation and transmission of electricity Dec. 2 from 3 to 4 p.m.
- Sam Eathington of Monsanto, Bill Niebur of Pioneer and Ben Hable of Syngenta will discuss emerging seed technology Dec. 3 from 10:30 to noon. Third generation logger Bruce Vincent provides the keynote address Dec. 3 at 9 a.m. Vincent, a longtime logger and promoter of socially responsible business, is President of Communities for a Great Northwest, executive director of Provider Pals and co-owner of Environomics. Vincent's message encourages farmers to share their expertise as food providers, environmental protectors and animal caretakers with the consumer public that depends on them.
IFBF meeting will hold its voting delegate session on Dec. 3
The IFBF annual meeting also celebrates the contributions of Farm Bureau members with a recognition luncheon on Dec. 2 and a young farm leader's achievement luncheon on Dec. 3. The meeting will also feature an industry trade show and evening entertainment. Mulberry Lane, a quartet of sisters from Omaha, will perform a holiday concert at the Polk County Convention Center the evening of Dec. 2. Farm Bureau will wrap up its annual meeting with a voting delegate session on Dec. 3. At that time, the delegates will hold elections.
The following directors are up for re-election this year: Craig Lang, president; Carlton Kjos, District 1 director; Phil Sundblad, District 3 director; and Richard Merrill, District 5 director. In addition, the county delegates will elect nine farmers to represent Iowa as delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in Seattle, Wash., Jan 10 to 13.
Members can register for the 2009 IFBF annual meeting at their county Farm Bureau offices. For more information about the 2009 Farm Bureau annual meeting, visit www.iowafarmbureau.com/images/ammtg.pdf.