‘Live’ from Phoenix: American Farm Bureau’s 98th Annual Convention

Posted Tuesday, Jan. 10:

After an exciting closing general session featuring keynote speakers Archie and Peyton Manning, it was down to business on Tuesday with the beginning of the delegate session. Ohio has 10 delegates at the conference – Board President Frank Burkett III and trustees Michael Boyert, Matt Bell, Chris Weaver, Mike Bensman, Lane Osswald, Paul Davidson, James Patterson, Ty Prettyman and Bill Waddle.

The IDEAg Trade Show wrapped up on Monday afternoon. Ohio was well represented at the trade show with eight County Activities of Excellence winners speaking with several convention attendees about their successful local county programming.


Posted Sunday, Jan. 8:

The general session of the 98th AFBF Annual Convention kicked off with an impassioned speech by American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. Ohio Farm Bureau was recognized by AFBF with the New Horizon Award for the county water grants initiative. President Frank Burkett accepted the award on behalf of Farm Bureau.

Ohio Farm Bureau also received Awards of Excellence for outstanding achievement in all six program areas awarded to Farm Bureaus: education and outreach; leadership development; member benefits; membership initiatives; policy development and implementation; and public relations and communications.

Shelby County’s Sarah and Aaron Heilers were named among the Top 10 finalists in the Excellence in Agriculture competition. The winner will be announced at tomorrow’s closing session, which features guest speakers Peyton and Archie Manning.

All eight of Ohio’s county programs awarded County Activities of Excellence awards participated in the first full day of the IDEAg Trade Show as well.


Posted Saturday, Jan. 7:

So many activities, so little time. The Phoenix Convention Center was teeming with young farmers and ranchers from all over the country on Saturday as Discussion Meet, Excellence in Agriculture and Young Farmer contests got underway in earnest.

Ohio Farm Bureau attendees are proud of Discussion Meet participant Stephen Caraway of Adams County and Young Farmer contestant Craig Pohlman of Van Wert County for representing the Buckeye State well in their respective categories. Today was their final day of competition.

Excellence in Agriculture contestants Aaron and Sarah Heilers of Shelby County presented their farming story for the Excellence in Agriculture competition today. Finalists will be announced in the competition on Sunday.

Saturday also kicked off the IDEAg Trade Show with the Celebration of Grassroots Reception and ended with Farm Bureau members attending a Nationwide Reception in the evening, where OFBF past president Ken Davis of Highland County was thanked for his years of service as he retires from the Nationwide Board of Directors.

Posted Friday, Jan 6:

Many Ohio Farm Bureau members and staff are in Phoenix to celebrate this past year’s achievements and represent Ohio as Farm Bureau policy priorities are set for the coming year.

Check in on this page for LIVE updates from the desert at the American Farm Bureau’s 98th annual convention Jan. 6-11.

Eight Ohio counties will be displaying their winning County Activities of Excellence programs, and young agricultural professionals Stephen Caraway, Aaron and Sarah Heilers and Craig Pohlman will compete for national titles in the Discussion Meet, Excellence in Agriculture and Young Farmer contests, respectively.

You can also follow the action as it’s happening on OFBF’s social media through Facebook and by following the #AFBF17 hashtag on Twitter.