Dec. 2 to 8 is Iowa Farm Bureau Week
Members of the state's largest grassroots farm organization will gather with renewed vigor to hear nationally acclaimed animal welfare expert Temple Grandin keynote the 94th Annual Meeting of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Dec. 4 and 5 at the newly remodeled Veterans Auditorium in Des Moines.
Gov. Terry Branstad has also declared Dec. 2 to 8 as "Iowa Farm Bureau Week" to honor the many accomplishments and contributions of the 94-year-old grassroots farm organization.
"This year our annual meeting theme, 'People, Progress and Pride,' celebrates the accomplishments, challenges and potential of our many diverse family farmers. Today's responsible farmers are strong members of their communities and are focused on the future; they're always looking for better ways to provide safe food choices for today's consumers, so they embrace innovation and the expertise of others," said IFBF President Craig Hill. "That's why we're bringing together a diverse, high caliber group of speakers like Dr. Temple Grandin, noted animal welfare expert and livestock-handling equipment designer, who also consults for firms such as Burger King, McDonald's, Swift and others."
Temple Grandin's challenges as an autistic young woman and the unique perspective it gave her with animals was profiled in the 2010 HBO Emmy Award-winning movie, "Temple Grandin," starring Claire Danes. Since the movie's success, Grandin's perspectives and livestock facility designs have won international acclaim.
Another nationally recognized keynote speaker, Lowell Catlett, will provide unique insight for attendees. The "futurist" economist and engaging speaker will take the stage at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 5 to discuss "Food for the Smart Planet." Catlett helps national and international organizations do futuristic planning on the impacts of technology on careers, lifestyles and the economy.
The author of numerous books, Catlett also works with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Labor, Interior, Defense, Education, Energy and the World Bank.
In addition to innovative speakers, the 94th IFBF annual meeting also features several "hands-on" educational seminars to help Farm Bureau members navigate challenging markets, rules and regulations as well as the most current best management practices for water quality. This year the access to expert advice from noted leaders has been expanded to include three separate sessions on Dec. 4.
Also, Iowa's best and brightest young farmers will take the stage for the IFBF Young Farmers Discussion Meet Dec. 4, competing for the state title and a John Deere X320 riding lawn mower and the chance to advance to the national competition, Jan. 13 to 16, in Nashville.
IFBF President and Milo farmer, Craig Hill, will address members and special guests on Dec. 5, at 8:30 a.m. The organization will celebrate the contributions of dedicated Farm Bureau members with a recognition banquet Dec. 4, at noon and a young farm leaders' achievement luncheon on Dec. 5.
Farm Bureau's voting delegate session and elections will be held Dec. 5. The following directors are up for re-election this year: IFBF District 1 board member Carlton Kjos, District 3 board member Phil Sundblad, and District 5 board member Morey Hill and Vice President Joe Heinrich.
Members can register for the 2012 IFBF annual meeting at their county Farm Bureau offices. For a complete listing of events and activities, visit www.iowafarmbureau.com.