Autumn has come to Washington. The air is a little crisper and the leaves around the Capitol are changing to vibrant shades of red, yellow and orange. I love the signs that the seasons are changing. It means more time together with family around the holidays and more time with the Farm Bureau family as we wrap up the year and plan for the next. Many of you will soon be gathering for your state annual meetings to fellowship, learn together and set policy goals for our organization. At American Farm Bureau, we are gearing up for our big Farm Bureau family reunion in just a few months' time at our annual convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
With registration for AFBF23 opening this week, I wanted to share a few updates and answer questions you may have after Hurricane Fiona hit a couple weeks back. First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with our Farm Bureau family there. Farms across the southwest region of the island faced tremendous losses, after recovering from Hurricane Maria just a few years ago. San Juan was spared the worst of the recent storm, and our team has been working closely with local businesses and officials there to assess the situation. All hotels, the convention center and other businesses are fully running and were spared the damage the rural parts of the island faced.
We are moving forward with our plans to host the AFBF Convention there in January, and I want to reassure you that the safety and comfort of all our attendees is always at the forefront. We will continue to monitor the situation in San Juan and share additional updates, as appropriate. We know how important convention is to all of you, and we want you to have the latest information to help you in making your plans to join us.
We have been through many seasons as a Farm Bureau family, and I look forward to coming together once again, supporting each other and looking to the future.
If you haven’t already, I’d invite you to check out the AFBF Convention website for the latest information on events and workshops. We have recently unveiled workshop content for 2023 and are excited to share what we have in store. As always, our team takes into account feedback we receive from Farm Bureau leaders and members. This is your convention, and our team wants to bring the content and events that will inform and inspire you for the year ahead. Backed by popular demand, our team of policy experts will share the 2023 outlook on top policy issues. There’s so much content to unpack on the policy front that we’re dividing this into two workshops! Plus, a special 2023 farm bill outlook and our equally popular market outlook from our team of economists.
As you well know, policy isn’t all we do well at Farm Bureau. We have a strong lineup of member engagement and leadership development sessions, as well as content focused on addressing the ongoing challenges of rural stress. We will celebrate the work of our Ag Foundation with our Flapjack Fundraiser, support innovative businesses through the Ag Innovation Challenge, cultivate the next generation of leaders with YF&R competitions, hear from inspiring keynote speakers, and, last but not least, recognize the 2023 Farm Dog of the Year.
The American Farm Bureau Convention isn’t just our flagship event as an organization: it truly is a family reunion. We have been through many seasons as a Farm Bureau family, and I look forward to coming together once again, supporting each other and looking to the future. Our team will have a lot more updates on AFBF23 in the coming weeks. I invite you to stay tuned and check out our Convention website for the latest. And I hope to see you, Mi Familia, in San Juan!
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.