Farmers Helping Farmers

Viewpoints / The Zipline February 7, 2018

Farm Bureau members had many proud moments at the AFBF annual convention last month. One of my proudest moments was when information about the Puerto Rico Agricultural Relief Fund was presented in the trade show and on the big screen at our general session. The March 1 deadline to donate to the fund is coming up quickly, so I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that Puerto Rico’s farmers still need our help. All funds raised will go directly to farmers in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico and Texas Farm Bureaus teamed up to raise funds to help farmers impacted by Hurricane Maria, which made landfall September 20, 2017. The hurricane wiped out as much as 80 percent of Puerto Rico’s farm production. Most of us on the mainland have weathered natural disasters of our own, but nothing on that scale.

Farmers and ranchers have an inspiring history of coming to the aid of our fellow producers.

Puerto Rico’s farmers knew it would be a long road to recovery. The entire island was without electricity right after the hurricane made landfall. Now, over four months later, power still has not been restored to all parts of the island. As important as agriculture is, it’s no surprise that restoring operations to hospitals, utilities and schools has taken priority in the government’s response and recovery efforts. That’s why it is so important that we farmers and ranchers step up to help our own within agriculture.

Farmers and ranchers have an inspiring history of coming to the aid of our fellow producers. We donate and transport hay when drought-affected farmers and ranchers need our help to keep their animals fed. When a farmer has sickness in the family, his neighbors drive their tractors over and get the crop harvested. We have responded, time and time again, when asked to help. We’ve been in their shoes. We know the help is needed and will be appreciated. I’m so “Farm Bureau Proud” that we are carrying on this long tradition of farmer helping farmer.

If you have not donated to the Puerto Rico Agricultural Relief Fund, please consider making a tax-deductible donation before March 1. 

Zippy Duvall

Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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