Registration is now open for the 2021 American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention, and we are excited to bring you an all-star lineup of premium content right to your home, free of charge. Farmers and ranchers know how to stretch a dollar, so let’s talk for a minute about the value and savings unique to this coming event. We have waived all registration fees for members and non-members alike. That’s a $100 and $250 value respectively. I invite you to sign up for free today, if you haven’t already, and be sure to invite your family, friends and neighbors to join you virtually.
When you add up all the receipts from plane tickets to meals and lodging, travel to be in person at the American Farm Bureau Convention any other year can cost anywhere from $1000 to $2000. We know that cost is more than worth it to gather with our Farm Bureau family, make connections, hear from industry leaders and learn how to sharpen our advocacy and improve our businesses. But I hope that this year’s savings will make it possible for more of you to save up and join us when we can safely gather together again in 2022.
This virtual convention will also give folks who haven’t been able to join us in person before or who are new to Farm Bureau a chance to enjoy all the quality educational programming, entertainment and inspiring messages that are hallmarks of the American Farm Bureau Convention every year. One common refrain I hear from many of you every year is that you wish you had more time or could be in two places at once at convention to experience all the events and programming. This year, you can. Registered attendees will have access to all events and content through the online convention platform. You can watch events live and enjoy on-demand content whenever it works best for you. That includes our general sessions, 20 educational workshops, a virtual trade show, YF&R Competitions, the Ag Innovation Challenge and Foundation Night In.
And speaking of Foundation Night In…this special event celebrating the work of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture will also be free with event registration. Ordinarily, you’d pay around $60 for a ticket to an Ag Foundation event to cover costs for overhead, but thanks to the virtual platform and support from our sponsors, we can bring this year’s event free to all attendees. I invite you to gather the family for this special event where we’ll announce the Ag Foundation Book of the Year, reveal the 2021 Farm Dog of the Year, and enjoy a mini concert from a couple of special celebrity guests, made possible by Nestle Purina Petcare. Stay tuned for more news there!
Recently, we were excited to announce our lineup of keynote speakers and special guests for the 2021 AFB Virtual Convention. Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs and Returning the Favor, is no stranger to Farm Bureau. We are excited to have him returning to our convention “stage” for a special fireside chat. I am honored also to have Beth Ford, President and CEO of Land O’ Lakes, joining me for a special moderated discussion exploring the unique challenges and opportunities for our industry going forward. Farm Bureau and Land O’ Lakes share a special bond in our 100-year histories, and we look forward to building on that strong foundation. And finally, Navy SEAL Commander Rorke Denver will deliver an inspiring keynote address as we reflect on what it means for us to press on “Stronger Together.”
While meeting virtually cannot replace the value of face-to-face meetings and personal connections, we know that this is the right decision for these difficult times and we’re making the most of it by throwing the doors wide open. I believe we will come out on the other side of this crisis truly stronger together and that this event will be a unique opportunity for us to strengthen and celebrate those bonds even as we are apart.
For more details on the 2021 AFB Virtual Convention and to register, visit our convention website.
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.