The 2021 American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention took place Jan. 10-13, 2021, giving all Farm Bureau members and anyone interested in agriculture the opportunity to experience one of agriculture’s premier events from the comfort and safety of home.
The convention kicked off with an opening address by AFBF President Zippy Duvall from his farm in Georgia.
“When we started planning this year’s convention in February, we chose the theme: Stronger Together,” Duvall said. “Little did we know how appropriate it would be. The past year has shown us just how true that theme is.
“Clearly, 2020 was a year of challenges,” Duvall continued. “Farmers and ranchers faced high expectations to keep America – and much of the world – fed during a global pandemic.”
Other highlights of this year’s event included a fireside chat with President Duvall and Mike Rowe, best known for his hit TV series Dirty Jobs and most recently his show Returning the Favor. Rowe discussed his efforts to debunk myths and misperceptions about blue-collar jobs and how his foundation is helping to close the skills gap.
Land O’ Lakes President and CEO Beth Ford joined Duvall to discuss hot topics and issues facing agriculture today, including challenges in America’s food supply system, climate-smart practices and rural broadband.
To conclude the meeting, delegates established 2021 policies.
Ohio at the convention
Ohio Farm Bureau was well represented in a number of ways at this year’s convention. Nathan and Lynn Steiner from Wayne County competed for the Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Achievement Award, Micah Mensing of Holmes County advanced to the Sweet 16 in YF&R Discussion Meet and Drs. Josh and Sarah Ison made the Top 10 in the 2021 Excellence in Ag competition.
Five Ohio county Farm Bureaus, Delaware, Henry, Pickaway, Scioto and Tuscarawas, were awarded AFBF County Activities of Excellence (CAE) awards, celebrating their unique, local, volunteer-driven programs. Ohio had more CAE winners than any other state.
Ohio Farm Bureau was recognized with two awards from American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. The Apex Award is given to state Farm Bureaus that have increased total contributions to the foundation by 10% or more over the previous year. State Farm Bureaus are recognized with a Leader Award when each of their board members donates at least $50 to the foundation.
Sessions from the 2021 AFBF Virtual Convention are now available as on-demand content to all registered attendees. The full list of sessions is available online.
American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture announced its Book of the Year.