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Celebrate seeds of growth at IFBF annual meeting

There’s no doubt Iowa Farm Bureau members are working hard to adapt to the changes in agriculture today. Iowa Farm Bureau members are committed to agriculture and growing the ag industry. This year’s Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) annual meeting, set for Dec. 2 and 3 in Des Moines, will celebrate farmers’ commitment to agriculture and look at how agriculture is growing.

"Our annual meeting theme this year is ‘Seeds of Growth,’ and we believe this statewide gathering is a great opportunity to focus on agriculture as a constant ebb and flow," said Barb Lykins, IFBF director of community resources. "We will provide educational opportunities and information to keep our members current and informed as they make decisions going forward."

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. 2, will include the Young Farmer Advisory Committee meeting, commodity advisory meetings, voting delegate session and six educational seminars. The annual awards recognition luncheon at noon Dec. 2 will recognize outstanding achievement by county Farm Bureaus, as well as individual leaders in membership.

Three educational seminars will be presented simultaneously on the first day, Dec. 2. One will explore the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) and its impact on pig farms. A second seminar will focus on the farm bill. The third seminar will explore IFBF’s Take Root program, which is designed to help farm families transition their farm from one generation to the next.

The second slate of educational seminars, scheduled for 2 p.m., also has three seminars running simultaneously.

The first seminar will focus on water quality and will feature a panel of county leaders who are working to improve water quality in their county. The second seminar will focus on rural transportation and needs for the 21st Century. The final seminar will be focused on health care and will give members a chance to ask questions about health insurance services, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and BASE.

Horse whisperer Grant Golliher will entertain members with a late afternoon presentation on Dec. 2.

Members will celebrate the Farm Bureau Property and Casualty Insurance Company’s 75th anniversary that evening. An evening reception will be held at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center wth music provided by The Barn Owl Band. Country music artist and Iowan Jason Brown will present a concert for members beginning at 8 p.m. in the grand ballroom.

District caucuses and breakfast will kick off the second day of the meeting on Dec. 3. IFBF President Craig Hill will lead the general session with his message to members.

Keynote speaker Mark Lynas, a proponent of GMO technology who previously made the case against its use, will talk about what GMO technology offers.

New this year, the IFBF Discussion Meet has been moved entirely to the second day of the meeting, Dec. 3.

The discussion meet orientation begins around 9:45 a.m. with the final round scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Educational seminars continue simultaneously on the second day with discussions regarding the waters of the United States, unmanned aerial systems, and the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation.

The final voting delegate session is scheduled to wrap up around 12:15 p.m.

The Young Farmers luncheon will begin around 12:30 p.m. and will recognize outstanding young farmers and the winners of the IFBF Discussion Meet.

Comic and musician Gayle Becwar will wrap up the meeting with entertainment around 1:30 p.m.

This year, all components to the annual meeting will be held at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. Shuttles will still be available for members to ride to and from their hotel.

Contact your county Farm Bureau office to register for the 2014 annual meeting, and for hotel information.