Tennessee Farm Bureau completes successful year
By Submitted | December 24, 2001 12:00 am
The year 2001 was remembered as the year of “Grassroots Patriotism” by the Tennessee Farm Bureau during their 80th annual meeting held December 2-4 in Nashville. During the meeting’s events and programs, a patriotic theme of red, white and blue kept a continuous reminder of our nation’s dedication to win the war effort.
Tennessee Farm Bureau members across the state after September 11, joined in the fight to do whatever they could to help each other, to support our country, and as other generations before them, work to keep this nation strong and safe. More than $8,000 was given by county Farm Bureaus to assist families in New York and Washington, D.C. following the attacks in those cities.
More than 1500 delegates were on hand to celebrate the organization’s greatest membership growth TFBF has experienced in five years. This year Tennessee Farm Bureau will lead the American Farm Bureau in net gain of members and will continue as the largest state membership in the nation. TFBF finished the year with 530,221 members and a net gain of 16,243 members over last year’s totals.
The delegates gave a warm reception to Tennessee U.S. Senator Fred Thompson as he keynoted the convention’s annual banquet. The Senator used the organization’s “Grassroots Patriotism’ theme as he told the group the war on terrorism will be much longer than just a few months. He said the efforts by our nation will take years to deliver a major impact in all parts of the world. “It is important we all understand this will not be over in just a few weeks. There will be gains at times as well as major setbacks, but with the unified effort of citizens of this great nation, we will make a difference,” the Senator told the group.
Voting delegates of the organization passed resolutions during a two day business session that dealt with numerous issues facing agriculture today. Items that received much discussion were forestry programs, the state budget regulations, education, Farm Bill changes, estate taxes and farm programs. The resolutions passed will become the official program of work for the farm organization as they face challenges in 2002 at the State Legislature and on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Delegates also re-elected Sequatchie County dairy farmer Flavius Barker as president of the nation’s largest state Farm Bureau. Barker has just completed his third two-year term.
Also, during the annual meeting, John Buffer of Dyer County was selected as the new state Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) president for 2002. The YF&R program is designed for individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 to increase, train and surface new leadership in the Farm Bureau organization. Butler replaces Sam Koller from Blount County who has served in the president’s position this past year.
The delegates attended numerous conferences during the annual meeting. Special sessions were conducted on the Farm Bill, state budget problems and solutions, specialty crop grants, regional growth planning, and new personnel and programs at the University of Tennessee. Senators Robert Rochelle and David Fowler provided two views of the current state tax structure.