This time of year, Santa’s workshop has nothing on the American Farm Bureau offices as we gear up for the 2022 American Farm Bureau Convention. Our staff is making their lists and checking them twice to ensure our annual convention is a meaningful and memorable experience for all. And I hope you all are making your plans to join us in Atlanta. With just a few weeks till we are there, we have lots of presents in store for you.
As we reflect on the past year and look forward to the next, we will be joined by entertaining and motivational keynote speakers. On Sunday, Jim “Murph” Murphy, founder and chairman of Afterburner, will deliver an inspiring keynote address. As a former Air Force pilot, he is no stranger to challenge and perseverance under pressure. I cannot wait for him to share from his experience in the military and business world as he helps us keep our eyes on the target. Then Monday, we will take a light-hearted turn with comedian Jeff Allen. You may have seen him on “America’s Got Talent,” “Huckabee,” Netflix, Amazon Prime, Pure Flix, Warner Bros., Comedy Central, VH1, Showtime, TBN, CBN, Family Net and numerous other television networks, and he can be heard regularly on SiriusXM’s comedy channels, as well as on Pandora and Spotify.
We will also continue to offer a wide variety of workshops to help you boost your advocacy in the new year. You might have a hard time narrowing down your choices from the 20 workshops, which will seek to answer your tax questions, provide the latest on carbon markets, provide an outlook for 2022, explore ways to increase membership, and help you better tell your farm’s sustainability story—just to name a few. You will get the chance to hear from leaders in Farm Bureau and across the industry as well as policy experts and trainers from our own AFBF staff.
Most of all, this will be a time for us to gather in fellowship and lift one another up. I invite you to join us Monday night, January 10, as we celebrate the Farm Bureau team at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. Doors open at 7 p.m., and we have some fun treats planned, including a personalized tour through the Hall of Fame and opportunities to view the NCAA College Football Championship Game. You can get your tickets now or at the registration desk in Atlanta, but you won’t want to miss this great event.
As excited as I am to gather with you all in person, I know some of you may not be able to make the trip this year. We are pleased to provide a robust lineup of virtual events as well, and I hope you will tune in. You can still register to join us virtually to follow along with the general sessions, enjoy many of our workshops live or on-demand, watch the exciting Final Four round of the YF&R Discussion Meet, and pick your favorite team in the Ag Innovation Challenge.
For many of us, the American Farm Bureau Convention is a time to get refreshed and recharged, and after the challenges of the last couple years, we need this time together. Whether in Atlanta or virtually from home, I hope you will join us as we focus on the people, purpose and possibilities of Farm Bureau. Until then, have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.