SALT LAKE CITY – November 14, 2018 – The Utah Farm Bureau Federation will convene its 102nd annual convention, November 15-16, at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah. The convention will address how farmers and ranchers can find success during difficult economic times and shifting political influences.

The Farm Bureau (UFBF) will address critical public policy topics, including public lands issues such as grazing policies & state parks, equine dentistry, taxation issues related to transportation funding, trade, water development and distribution, wildfire management, and more. 

Additionally, farmers and ranchers will learn about deepening consumer engagement, improving their leadership abilities, and improving the way everyday consumers connect to their food. In this way, Farm Bureau leaders will learn how their success inspires all Utah families to find success in the ‘Miracle of Agriculture’.

“We’re really excited about our convention in Layton this year– and to kick-off our meeting with such a great lineup of speakers and issues. This is truly democracy at the grassroots level, with those feeling the impact of state and federal regulations the most having a say in how the rules and laws are created,” said Ron Gibson, Utah Farm Bureau President. “We’re not just sitting around complaining about our situation. Farm Bureau looks to its heritage of making policy to guide our organization with a vision for the future.” 

Thursday’s agenda consists of nominations and elections for the organization’s Vice-President, UFBF Board of Directors, and leaders of its three statewide committees. There will also be a live auction luncheon to support Utah Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC), which provides educators with materials and volunteers to enhance learning in classrooms.

The start of the convention Thursday afternoon will feature comments from President Ron Gibson followed by an inspirational message by Chad Hymas, professional speaker and farmer. A member of the National Speakers Association and ranked by Wall Street Journal as one of the 10 most inspirational people in the world, Hymas will visit with Farm Bureau members about how to leave a legacy. 

Hymas will be followed by a fundraiser benefiting the Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) program, and the ‘Final Four’ of the YF&R Discussion Meet. The competitive event simulates a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. This competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on topics ranging this year from how to implement market trends and develop responsive business plans, to how to protect farmers’ and ranchers’ access to production technology options on the farm. 

Friday’s action will feature the resumption of the Farm Bureau delegate session in the morning. After lunch, there will be two rounds of breakouts, with several sessions being repeated. Presentations will focus on fire prevention & costs on the U.S. Forest Service; farm & ranch succession planning; minimizing conflicts between wildlife and livestock; drought, range & crop insurance; and more. 

The general session will continue with the national perspective from American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. Duvall will share insights from first-hand experiences with the Trump White House regarding trade, and with the Congressional Farm Bill. In addition, Duvall will further share on the countless interactions with farmers & ranchers around the country. Kerry Gibson, Deputy Director of the Department of Natural Resources, and other Farm Bureau leaders will also address the convention.

The Leopold Conservation Award, which is sponsored by the Sand County Foundation, in partnership with the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Utah Cattlemen’s Association, and Western AgCredit, will be presented at the Farm Bureau Gala Banquet Friday evening. The award honors the conservation efforts of private landowners in Utah. The outstanding conservationist receives a $10,000 check and Leopold Crystal for their dedication to wise stewardship of Utah’s natural resources. Retiring members of the State Board of Directors will also be recognized.