Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation sets policy for coming year; elects leaders - November 17, 2021
November 17, 2021— The 30 x 30 land grab, election integrity, individual freedoms regarding health decisions and IRS reporting were among the many topics included in policies adopted at the 102nd annual meeting of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB). Held Nov. 11-13, 2021 in Cody, Wyo., the meeting is an important step in the grassroots policy development process of the Farm Bureau Federation. The need for a competitive enterprise system, individual freedoms and protection of property rights resonated through the discussions as Farm Bureau Federation members developed policy. “This member-based open forum policy discussion is the reason we hold our annual meeting each year,” said Ken Hamilton, WyFB Executive Vice President. “County Farm Bureau Federation members start the policy development process at the local level discussing policy issues of concern to the members and their families.” Farm Bureau Federation members thoroughly discussed and emphasized their opposition to the 30 x 30 program, also known as “America the Beautiful,” outlined by Executive Order #14008. The voting delegates asked that the congressional delegation, state legislature, governor and county commissioners stand against the executive mandates. “Our members are greatly concerned about President Biden’s Executive Order that established the 30 x 30 proposal,” Hamilton said. “Multiple resolutions were proposed at the local and then district levels for discussion at our state meeting. Members adopted policy to push back against the efforts of the 30 x 30 program.” Election integrity is of utmost importance to Farm Bureau members. “Members reaffirmed Farm Bureau’s support for voter identification requirements for all elections,” Hamilton explained. “Additionally, they called for in-person voting on paper ballots to be utilized to the highest extent possible.” Members also reaffirmed policy reiterating their continued support for the elimination of the ability to change party affiliation on election day. The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation has always stood on the principles of individual freedoms and constitutional government and the discussion at the 102nd annual meeting was no different. “Our members strongly believe individual freedoms are vital,” Hamilton said. “Policy passed this year supports our members beliefs that individuals can assess their circumstances without the need for governmental guidance.” Continued concerns related to government overreach and mandates were addressed. Voting delegates expressed their opposition to vaccine mandates, vaccine passports and mask mandates. They also voiced opposition to any discrimination related to proof of vaccination or coercion for medical decisions in any circumstances. Addressing their continued concern regarding the actions of non-elected officials in response to public health orders, members called for Wyoming’s governor to immediately rescind the order declaring a state of emergency and a public health emergency. Regarding Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues, members expressed opposition to earlier proposals that would have required banks and third-party payment platforms to report financial transactions of $600 or more to the IRS. Members reaffirmed policy declaring the importance of energy independence. The ability to maintain fossil fuel powered vehicles was also highlighted in policy discussions. Leaders elected Todd Fornstrom, of Laramie County, was elected to his sixth term as president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) at the organization’s 102nd annual meeting in Cody. Todd and his family farm in Laramie County. He and his wife, Laura, have four children. Fornstrom runs Premium Hay Products, an alfalfa pellet mill, and runs a trucking business and custom combining business. Fornstrom also works with his father farming near Pine Bluffs. The diversified farm consists of irrigated corn, wheat, alfalfa, and dry beans. Voting delegates elected Cole Coxbill, of Goshen County, to his sixth term as WyFB Vice President. Coxbill and his wife, Sammie, have three children. They run a trucking business, commercial spraying business and raise cattle. Lane Hageman, of Goshen County, was elected to his first term as the Director-At-Large. Hageman lives and works on his family’s cow/calf ranch in southeastern Wyoming. Hageman is also a Goshen County Farm Bureau Federation Board Member and a member of the WyFB Young Farmer & Rancher Committee. In addition to the three statewide elections, five district directors and the Young Farmer & Rancher state chair serve on the state board. The Young Farmer & Rancher Committee elected Kelli Chouinard, of Park County, to her first term as the state committee chair. This position has a seat on the WyFB Board of Directors. Rounding out the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors are district directors: Raenell Taylor, Northeast District Director; Kevin Baars, Southeast District Director; Tim Pexton, Central District Director; Thad Dockery, Northwest District Director; and Justin Ellis, Southwest District Director. The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general agriculture organization. The purpose of the 102nd annual meeting held Nov. 11-13, 2021 was to develop policy to guide the organization in the coming year. Visit www.wyfb.org. The primary goals of the organization are to protect private property rights and help members achieve an equitable return on their investment.