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Celebrating the Spirit of Service During National Volunteer Week

Zippy Duvall


photo credit: Idaho Farm Bureau, Used with Permission

When I first joined Farm Bureau as a young farmer, my goal was simple: to make a positive impact and uplift the lives of my fellow farmers. And right from the start, I found Farm Bureau to be more than just about farming and advocacy – it’s also a family deeply rooted in service and dedicated to strengthening our rural communities.

For over a century, Farm Bureau has thrived on the shoulders of selfless individuals – farmers, ranchers and community leaders – who tirelessly give their time, talents and resources to make a difference. As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, I want to take a moment to thank and recognize the tireless work of all our remarkable volunteers. Their dedication, often unseen but deeply felt, is the driving force behind much of our organization's success and truly embodies our mission to strengthen agriculture and rural communities across the nation.

In communities big and small, you will find Farm Bureau members rolling up their sleeves and lending a helping hand wherever it’s needed. Whether it’s organizing fundraisers, volunteering at schools and food banks or helping with county fair projects, service isn’t just something they do, it’s who they are, and their impact stands as a shining example reaching nearly every corner of the country.

We’re grateful for our folks across the country who are showing up and putting in the hard work to make our communities more vibrant.

That spirit of volunteerism also extends beyond the county lines through many of our national programs, such as the Young Farmers and Ranchers, Women’s Leadership and the Promotion and Education. These programs, led by our volunteer committee members, are making a difference on a national scale and providing additional support to communities nationwide. Last year alone, our Young Farmers and Ranchers Harvest for All program collected enough funds and food donations to provide over 26 million meals to help fight hunger across the country. Also, our Women’s Leadership Committee raised over $92,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities in 2023. Collectively, these efforts translate into millions of pounds of food and thousands of hours of service to our rural communities.

We also see this spirit of service within our Issue Advisory Committees, where our grassroots members, supported by state and national staff, dedicate their time to identify pressing issues and develop policy proposals. Their reports inform the policy development work of state and county Farm Bureaus which eventually make their way to the American Farm Bureau Convention where we finalize our national policy priorities – talk about a huge impact.

These examples provide just a small glimpse of the amazing things volunteers are doing, and on behalf everyone at American Farm Bureau, I want to say thank you again for your service and commitment.

Our volunteers are the unsung heroes in all we do, and every day, not just during National Volunteer Week, we’re grateful for our folks across the country who are showing up and putting in the hard work to make our communities more vibrant. So, as we do pay extra homage and highlight them this week, I also want to invite each of you to reflect on the impact you can have in our organization, on agriculture and in the communities we cherish. Let’s embrace this opportunity to deepen our involvement, celebrating the spirit of service and maybe even inspire a few others to join us along the way.