SEATTLE (OFBF) – American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman delivered a passionate annual address to his organization’s members on Sunday, showcasing Ohio Farm Bureau as an example for the nation.
“To those who expect to just roll over America’s farm and ranch families, my only message is this: The circumstances have changed,” Stallman said during the opening general session of the organization’s 91st annual meeting in Seattle.
As Stallman spoke of major challenges facing agriculture in 2010, he was clear that in order to be successful farmers of all walks of life must be united and draw the line between polite and respectful engagement with consumers, and “aggressively respond to extremists who want to drag agriculture back to the day of 40 acres and a mule.”
“Our adversaries are adept at taking advantage of our politeness,” he said. “The time has come to face our opponents with a new attitude. Ohio Farm Bureau embraced this attitude by taking the fight to the enemies of modern animal agriculture. Ohio’s Ballot Issue 2 was a big win, and one we must duplicate far and wide.”
Stallman said it is more critical than ever farmers communicate about their values and convey how food production today is compatible with traditional ideals. He said farmers must also “pay attention to the vocal chorus of well-fed but unsatisfied consumers.”
“While we must be responsive to consumer demand, we must also stand beside each other,” he said. “Today, it takes all of America’s farm and ranch families to get the job done.” It is up to us to share the strength of our character and the tradition of our values with our fellow citizens. Together, we hold in trust the future of our industry. And through our involvement, we will succeed.
Opposition to Climate Change
Also during his speech, Stallman said AFBF believes proposed climate change legislation before Congress “threatens to slash our ability (to increase food production),” and that the organization has been vocal in its opposition.
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization, the world will have to produce 70 percent more food in the next 40 years to feed an extra 2.3 billion people. “To throttle back our ability to produce food – at a time when the UN projects billions of more mouths to feed – is a moral failure,” he said
More Annual Meeting Coverage
Ohio Farm Bureau’s coverage of the annual meeting will continue this week here at ofbf.org. Visit our news page for the latest stories. For real-time updates, follow OhioFarmBureau on Twitter, become a Fan of Ohio Farm Bureau on Facebook and/or visit Twitter.com and search #AFBF10 to see a live stream of tweets from farmers at the meeting.