This January the American Farm Bureau Convention is going to be hosted at farm and ranch homes across America as we take our biggest annual event online. As many of you have heard by now, the city of San Diego, where we had planned to gather for our 102nd annual convention, will no longer be able to host us. The San Diego Convention Center has been temporarily converted to a homeless shelter and will continue to be as the pandemic lingers. While I know we are all disappointed not to be able to gather in person, the safety of our Farm Bureau family comes first. I will miss seeing all of you face-to-face more than I can say, but I am excited to share some of what we have in store for this special convention at home.
The best news is that holding our annual convention online gives us the unique opportunity to “open the doors” to the entire Farm Bureau family, our friends and neighbors, with free registration. I hope you will take advantage of the chance to see our premium content from the comfort of your home and that you’ll spread the word to your friends and neighbors so they can tune in with us January 9-13, 2021.
The American Farm Bureau Convention showcases the best of Farm Bureau from workshops led by industry experts, stories from the farm and conversations with leaders and lawmakers. This virtual convention will be no exception! Featured sessions will cover the most pressing issues facing American agriculture from rural broadband and farm stress to sustainability and the farm economy. We’ll provide the latest policy updates from Washington, explore what’s next for the food supply chain, and continue to offer the leadership development our members value.
The American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention will also bring home event favorites like the Young Farmer and Rancher competitions, the Ag Innovation Challenge and the much-anticipated Farm Dog of the Year. The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture will host a Foundation Night In this year, which will include the unveiling of the Foundation Book of the Year and other fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. There will be something for everyone at the American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention, including bonus on-demand content, a new Kids Corner, and a special day of programming hosted by the Women’s Leadership Committee.
Long before we had any idea all that this year would bring, we set as the theme “Stronger Together” for the 2021 American Farm Bureau Convention to highlight the importance of how we come together across the Farm Bureau family and the entire agriculture industry. Looking back now, we couldn’t have chosen a better theme to speak to how we have come together across farm and ranch country amidst the hardships of this year to help our neighbors, our communities and our nation as we continue to fulfill our calling. I hope you will join us for convention from home and that you will be inspired and encouraged. And let’s all continue to pray that the time for us to meet together again will come soon.
Please stay tuned in the days and weeks ahead as our team here at your American Farm Bureau will be sharing exciting updates about keynote speakers and providing details for how you can reserve your spot to join us.
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.