Annual meeting speakers and surprises – Dec. 2018/Jan. 2019
The 99th Annual Meeting for the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation concluded in Sheridan earlier in November. Members from across the state debated policies that will guide the WyFB staff in the coming years. They also got to hear from Wyoming’s Senators Enzi and Barrasso about the actions and activities in the U.S. Senate. The Wyoming Farm Bureau was also able to present the AFBF Friend of Farm Bureau award to both Senators. This award is based on the voting record of the Senators in support for AFBF positions on important legislation. Representative Cheney’s representative was able to accept her Friend of Farm Bureau Award on behalf of Rep. Cheney.
In addition, Ryan Yates visited with the attendees about the change in the political climate in Washington, D.C. after the election. Some things, like Endangered Species Act reform may be more difficult and we’ve seen statements from the potential incoming chairs in the House about different priorities.
Like most things in Washington, D.C. it doesn’t matter how passionate one is about a topic, or how good your arguments are, unless you get 50 percent plus 1 of the Congressman, it doesn’t matter.
Robin Kinney wrapped up our last day at the convention by inspiring folks to visit with their neighbors who aren’t members and ask them to join the organization. Farm Bureaus at the county, state and national level work hard to implement the policies adopted by the agricultural producers. Gaining members helps carry out these efforts and contributes to agriculture staying a vital component of our economy.
The awards banquet was particularly memorable for me when, in a well-hidden lead up, President Fornstrom announced I was the recipient of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award. This is an award I truly appreciate. I was also proud that Tim and Dawn Pexton received the Wyoming Farm Bureau Leadership Award. Tim and his wife Dawn have been amazing workers for agriculture in the state and this award was well deserved.
Lastly, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
By Ken Hamilton, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Executive Vice President