> The Zipline

From Your Farm to Our Policy Book

Zippy Duvall


photo credit: North Carolina Farm Bureau, Used with Permission

Every morning, when I am able to be at home, I look over our family farm and can’t help but feel an overwhelming pride knowing that my father and grandfather stood and looked over these same Georgia hills. Even though things may look a little different since their time, their dedication and commitment to this land established a family heritage that continues to this day. The work we do at the American Farm Bureau Federation will help ensure my children and grandchildren (or future generations) can continue that heritage.

Recently, USDA released its 2023 Farms and Ranches at Glance Report, showing that 97% of U.S. farms are family-owned, and family farms account for 90% of all farm production by value. This is a reminder that American agriculture is largely a family business and often passed down through generations. Thousands of farm and ranch families work tirelessly each and every day to keep our food, fiber and fuel supply secure and sustainable. The strength and wellbeing of our nation starts on the farm where we help to meet one of the most basic needs of every American, which is to eat. That’s why at Farm Bureau, we believe that agriculture policy should come straight from the farm.

Grassroots advocacy is at the heart of Farm Bureau. Our policy book is shaped by our farmer and rancher members. From navigating federal programs to addressing legislative issues, we count on our members to provide direction for our advocacy work in Washington. When it comes to what works and what doesn’t on the farm, we believe the farmer working that land every day knows best.

Grassroots advocacy is at the heart of Farm Bureau.

At Farm Bureau, our grassroots members’ voices, stories and concerns serve as the foundation on which our policies are built. And we are getting ready to celebrate and engage our unique grassroots process at the 2024 American Farm Bureau Convention.

As anticipation builds and final preparations are made, I am so excited to be with you all next week at our annual convention in Salt Lake City. Our convention is more than an event: it is a reunion where we get to come together to catch up, celebrate achievements, and share ideas on how we can lead into the future. It is also an opportunity to welcome new members who may be attending for the first time.

The hallmark of our convention every year is our annual voting delegates meeting where priorities are set for the coming year. From across the country and farms of all sizes, Farm Bureau delegates come to Convention to provide the direction we take back to Washington. Did you know that 99% of those delegates are family farmers? In addition, 65% are small and medium-sized farms. Our policy is created by farm families and for farm families.

Every single policy discussed and adopted by our farmer and rancher delegates at the national level can be traced back to the experiences and challenges brought forth at the local and state level.

I am so proud of the work and dedication of all our grassroots members who come together to help us speak with one united voice, the Voice of Agriculture. This is work that we are committed to doing for our families and yours to ensure we can continue providing safe and abundant food, fiber and fuel for our nation and the world.