­As a Farm Bureau member, you belong to an organization of fellow Iowans working to create a vibrant future for our families, our communities and agriculture.

This year, Iowa Farm Bureau will celebrate its 100th anniversary as a leading advocate for farmers, rural communities and all of us who want a growing and prosperous Iowa.

Indeed, Iowa Farm Bureau works for Iowa’s farm families, but our work benefits Iowans in all walks of life. It’s always been that way, ever since the Iowa Farm Bureau was created in 1918. Back then, farmers, teachers, bankers, chamber of commerce officials and other community leaders joined forces to support agriculture as a way of life and an economic driver that benefitted all of them.

Today, Iowa Farm Bureau works to support Iowa’s farmers, strengthen rural communities, invest in Iowa’s future, promote quality healthcare for Iowans and help our neighbors.

Iowa Farm Bureau’s centennial celebration kicked off last month, with Gov. Kim Reynolds signing a proclamation declaring 2018 “The Year of Farm Bureau.”

Farm Bureau members are invited to take part in activities throughout the year to celebrate Iowa Farm Bureau’s “A Century Strong” anniversary.

Visit the Iowa Farm Bureau’s website, at www.iowafarmbureau.com/100, to find a fun, interactive timeline of Iowa Farm Bureau history and a video to launch the 100th anniversary celebration.

The website will be updated throughout the year with details on events for all Farm Bureau members to celebrate the important milestone.

Future events will include a new exhibit at the Hoover Presidential Museum and Library in West Branch. The exhibit, “Tall Grass to Knee High: A Century of Iowa Farming,” will explore farming and its innovations, technology and people, as well as the impact it has had on the Midwest since 1910.

The exhibit, which opens in April, also will share how contributions of Iowa Farm Bureau have shaped farming and Iowa in the last century.

All Farm Bureau members can see the exhibit for free during its run.

In addition, Farm Bureau members are invited to celebrate the 100th anniversary at Farm Bureau Day at the Iowa State Fair Aug. 14. Details will be announced soon.

 The year-long celebration will conclude with the 2018 Iowa Farm Bureau annual meeting Dec. 4-6 in Des Moines.

Iowa Farm Bureau members can also pick up a free centennial calendar, featuring photos submitted by members, at their county Farm Bureau office.

Plus, Farm Bureau members are encouraged to share their Farm Bureau memories and stories on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #ACenturyStrong or by text message to 619-350-2191. Your stories will appear on the Iowa Farm Bureau’s website.

For more information about up­­coming events celebrating Iowa Farm Bureau’s 100th anniversary, visit www.iowafarmbureau.com/100 or contact your county Farm Bureau office.

'Year of Farm Bureau' kicks off at annual meeting

Members of the state’s largest grassroots farm organization gathered in Des Moines last month to kick off a celebration that recognizes Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) 100 years of success.

The 99th annual gathering of IFBF members also launched 2018 as the "Year of Iowa Farm Bureau"’ The designation, recently signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds, celebrates a century of innovation and leadership of IFBF members.

Craig Hill, IFBF president, addressed the members and shared the storied history of Farm Bureau.

“IFBF members may not realize it, but Iowa Farm Bureau was the first organization that gave farmers a ‘voice.’ Before Iowa Farm Bureau, it was politicians or those appointed by politicians who decided farm policy,” said Hill.

Hill also acknowledged the challenges that face farmers today, including efforts to improve water quality, but Hill says progress is happening. “It’s why 87 percent of Iowa Farm Bureau members surveyed say they are using conservation practices on their farm and 71 percent have plans to apply new conservation practices in the next five years. Iowa farmers know water quality is important, so even though we’ve seen three years of a downturned market for ag products, 73 percent of members surveyed are spending their own money to apply conservation practices,” said Hill.

For a look at presentations, award ceremonies or addresses from the 99th annual Iowa Farm Bureau meeting, visit www.iowafarmbureau.com.