For nearly a century, generations of Iowa Farm Bureau members have been innovating to produce more food and fuel to meet a growing world demand while also protecting the environment. This year’s Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) annual meeting, set for Dec. 3 and 4 in Des Moines, will celebrate that history of innovation and look to future advances.

"Our annual meeting theme this year is ‘Generations of In­­novation,’ and we believe our statewide gathering is a great opportunity to focus on the tremendous history of progress in Iowa agriculture and to look forward to the bright future on Iowa farms and in our rural communities," said Barb Lykins, IFBF director of community resources. "It is really remarkable to see the continuous line of progress from draft horses to today’s GPS-guided equipment, as well as the environmental advances we have made on our crop and livestock farms."

Focus on the future

The 2013 annual meeting’s keynote speaker, futurist and agriculture economist Jay Lehr, will look at potential innovations and what they will mean for American agriculture. Lehr is a well-known speaker who will focus on the bright future for both American agriculture and the environment.

This year’s IFBF annual meeting will once again be held at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, formerly known as Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, in downtown Des Moines.

The first day of the annual meeting, Dec. 3, will include the opening voting delegate session along with the Young Farmer Discussion Meet and six educational seminars.

Also, the annual awards recognition luncheon at noon Dec. 3 will recognize outstanding achievement by county Farm Bureaus, as well as individual leaders in membership. The annual IFBF Distinguished Service and the Woman in Agriculture awards will be announced, and the 2013 class of Ag Leaders will be recognized. Entertainment at the luncheon will be provided by trumpeter Jesse McGuire.

Educational seminars

Two educational seminars will be held simultaneously beginning at 10:30 a.m. on the first day. One will explore the progress in the ground-breaking Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and other conservation innovations and drainage issues, while the other will look at innovations in niche agriculture that are helping farmers find new markets and remain on the land.

A second round of educational seminars will be held at 2 p.m. One will offer a look at a variety of water quality issues that will affect agriculture; a second will explore how farmers can use and protect data gathered by precision farming tools; and the third will provide an outlook for crop and livestock markets.

An evening reception at the beautifully-remodeled World Food Prize headquarters, also in downtown Des Moines, will celebrate Iowa agriculture’s key role in feeding a growing world population. Musical entertainment at the reception will be provided by the Odyssey Trio.

The next day, Dec. 4, will begin with the annual breakfast followed by a general session including IFBF President Craig Hill’s address to members. Keynote speaker Lehr will wrap up the general session.

There will be another round of seminars beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

One will focus on farm transitions and IFBF’s new Take Root initiative; another will focus on health care reform and issues that are important to members; and the third will examine Iowa’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative and how it can help the state grow the next generation of innovators.

In addition, there will be a voting delegate session at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 4.

Young Farmer program

The Young Farmer luncheon, which will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, will feature presentations for the IFBF Discussion Meet winner and the Young Farm­er Achievement and the Bob Joslin awards.

Entertainment will be provided by country singer Michael Sarver, a Texas native and former oil worker who became a sensation on the "American Idol" television show.

Please contact your county Farm Bureau office to register for the 2013 annual meeting.