AFBF Fly In 2023

More than 150 farmers and ranchers from across the country traveled to Washington, D.C. for the American Farm Bureau Federation Advocacy Fly-In to meet directly with lawmakers and discuss priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill.

“It’s crucial that lawmakers hear directly from the people who are affected by farm policy,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “America’s farmers and ranchers are dedicated to growing the food, fuel and fiber families across the nation rely on. We know how important the farm bill is to maintaining a secure and sustainable food supply. I’m confident the personal stories shared by our members will help inspire lawmakers to support and swiftly pass a new farm bill.”

Ohio Farm Bureau was represented by state trustees Karin Bright (District 22) and Mike Bensman (District 10). They met with Max Miller (OH-7) (pictured above) and Rep. Troy Balderson (OH-12).

“Having farmers, whether it’s meeting in Ohio with their members when they’re in town with August recess coming up, or here in D.C. connecting with our American Farm Bureau colleagues like we are this week, is crucial to getting our message across,” said Jack Irvin, vice president of public policy with Ohio Farm Bureau. “AFBF has to have that support and that backdrop of these constituents coming in, meeting with their legislators, telling them about the real world examples on their farm and why it matters and what it means for their communities. Without that partnership, we’re just not going to be successful.”

Troy Balderson 2023 AFBF Fly In
Bright and Bensman, as well as Ohio Farm Bureau staff, meet with Rep. Troy Balderson.

This week’s event included remarks from Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Penn.) and Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.). House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott (D-Ga.) sent a video message.

Attendees were informed there are 260 members – more than half of Congress – who have never worked on a farm bill, making personal stories of impact even more important. AFBF members also discussed other pressing issues facing agriculture, including the impact of the recent Sackett v. EPA decision by the Supreme Court, as well as the need for Congress to address agricultural labor reform.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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