Facing increasingly difficult challenges from activists and regulators, as well as a much tougher economic climate, Iowa farmers need the leadership of a strong, grassroots-driven organization like Farm Bureau now more than ever before, Craig Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) president, said last week.

"We need our combined and united efforts to defeat the economic uncertainty, the regulatory uncertainty and the political uncertainty that we face today," Hill said in his address to open the 2014 IFBF Summer Policy Conference. "Farmers have never needed an organization like the IFBF more than today."

Working together is the best way for farmers to overcome challenges from activists, regulators, politicians and others, Hill said. It’s also critical to continue building domestic and export demand for big crops that threaten farm profitability, he said.

While raising bigger crops,...