Farm Bureau Members to Address Critical Issues at Centennial Convention

The Utah Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention will convene its 100th annual convention, November 16-18, at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah.

The Farm Bureau (UFBF) will address critical public policy topics, including public lands issues such as grazing policies, potential expansion of state parks, instream flow water rights, food safety, the merits of a Constitutional Convention vs. a Convention of the States and more.

Additionally, farmers and ranchers will learn about agriculture export opportunities worldwide, deepening member engagement, and celebrating Farm Bureau’s 100-year history in advocating for Utah’s food producers.

“We’re really excited about our convention in Layton this year– and to kick-off our meeting with such a great lineup of speakers and issues. This is truly democracy at the grassroots level, with those feeling the impact of state and federal regulations the most having a say in how the rules and laws are created,” said Ron Gibson, Utah Farm Bureau President. “We’re not just sitting around complaining about our situation. Farm Bureau looks to its heritage of making policy to guide our organization with a vision for the future.”

Thursday’s agenda consists of nominations and elections for the organization’s Vice President and several on the State Board of Directors. There will also be a live auction luncheon to support Utah Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC), which provides educators with materials and volunteers to enhance learning in classrooms.

The start of the convention Thursday afternoon will feature comments from President Ron Gibson and CEO Randy Parker, followed by an address from Julia Anna Potts, the Executive Vice President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Potts will be followed by a discussion on water rights and development from Boyd Clayton, Deputy State Engineer at the Utah Division of Water Rights.

Friday’s action will feature the resumption of the Farm Bureau delegate session, and then lead to a variety of breakout sessions. There will be two rounds of breakouts, with several sessions being repeated. Presentations will include a report on the Public Land Grazing Working Groups, incentivizing ag water conservation, export opportunities from Utah’s World Trade Center, deepening member engagement, increasing opportunities in Farm Bureau for women, a report on the recent Farm Bureau Strategic Planning initiative, tips on planning amazing county outreach events, protecting your assets by Farm Bureau Financial Services, and a special pre-address breakout by keynote speaker Dr. Matt Townsend.

Following the breakouts, Farm Bureau members will learn of some of the history that laid the foundations for what the Utah Farm Bureau is today. Matt Townsend will then give a presentation on the unique communications challenges in agriculture and what Farm Bureau members can do to improve relationships in their families, with friends and neighbors, and business associates.  The general session will conclude with a panel discussion of critical issues before the U.S. Congress, including the outcome of the recent elections. Representatives Jason Chaffetz and Chris Stewart will be on hand for what is expected to be a convention highlight.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert will speak at the Farm Bureau Gala Banquet Friday evening, and make the presentation of the 2016 Leopold Conservation Award. Herbert will also be receiving the Utah Farm Bureau ‘Friend of Agriculture Award’ that evening. The Leopold Conservation Award is sponsored by the Sand County Foundation, in partnership with the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Utah Cattlemen’s Association, and Western AgCredit, and honors the conservation efforts of private landowners in Utah.  The outstanding conservationist receives a $10,000 check and Leopold Crystal for their dedication to wise stewardship of Utah’s natural resources.

More information, an agenda, and registration can be obtained by contacting Susan Furner at the State Farm Bureau office at 801-233-3040 or[email protected]