Ag News

Trump speech highlights AFBF centennial convention

President Donald Trump praised farmers for their perseverance in difficult times, thanked them for their support of national policy, promised they would reap benefits from his administration’s stance on international trade and lauded the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) for its 100 years of work on behalf of the nation’s farmers.

“For 100 years, this organization has faithfully represented the men and women who are the backbone of our country,” Trump said. “On this special anniversary, we gather to celebrate America’s proud farming heritage.  Through your sweat, through all of your work, the strength of your hands, and the faith in your hearts, the American farmer feeds and fuels and sustains our nation.”

More than 180 Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) members attended the convention, many of them opting to participate in a preconvention tour of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans and a driving tour of the Crescent City.

Trump, who appeared at the AFBF convention for the second straight year, gave an hour-long speech at AFBF’s closing general session on January 14, spending more than 20 minutes of it making the case for building the wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, before touting his administration’s work on trade, taxes, the farm bill, rural broadband and federal regulations. His speech was interrupted 10 times by standing ovations.

The president introduced Arizona rancher Jim Chilton, whose land is on the U.S.-Mexico border. Chilton, who says drug smugglers cut through his land as they enter the U.S., told Trump and the crowd of approximately 6,000 farmers and ranchers that the wall is needed. A transcript of the president’s speech is available at

During the AFBF business session on Jan. 15, voting delegates settled on the organization’s policy stance on a variety of farm-related issues. Four policies submitted by GFB were adopted by

AFBF as its national policy.

GFB’s policy recommendations were:  Department of Transportation vehicle registration information be kept confidential; farmers should be allowed to update base acres in the next farm bill; proportional federal assistance for producers harmed by tariffs during trade negotiations; and Southeastern land grant universities having opportunities to market live and processed sheep and goats.

Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long was re-elected to the AFBF Board of Directors for a second two-year term.

AFBF celebrated its 100th year with a recap of key accomplishments and a sampling of food from all 50 states at the IdeAg Trade Show.

For photos from the AFBF Convention visit

Georgia Farm Bureau members paced in the top 10 in each of American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers competitive events, held during the AFBF Convention in New Orleans.

Hall County Farm Bureau member Caroline Lewallen finished third nationally in the Excellence in Agriculture Competition, which recognizes young farmers and ranchers who earn the majority of their income from something other than production agriculture. Lewallen’s presentation featured the HallGROWS program she developed through HCFB to improve agricultural literacy among the county’s students. The program has been implemented in several other counties and in other states. The Excellence in Agriculture Award went to Jake and Melissa Raburn of Florida.

Bulloch County Farm Bureau member Becca Creasy finished fourth in the AFBF Discussion Meet, which featured competitors from 36 states. The Discussion Meet features panels of contestants discussing predetermined topics related to agriculture and Farm Bureau in a committee format. Jackie Mundt of Kansas was the national winner.

Will and Heather Cabe of Franklin County advanced to the top 10 in the AFBF Achievement Award competition, which recognizes young farmers and ranchers who earn the majority of their income from production agriculture. Justin and Erica Edwards of North Carolina were the national winners.