Jason Brown, NFL Star-Turned Farmer, to Deliver Keynote Address on Resiliency and Parallels Between Football and Farming

Iowa Farm Bureau members are invited to register for the organization’s 104th Annual Meeting, Dec. 6-7 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines, to celebrate Iowa agriculture and “Cultivating Opportunity.”  In addition to valuable educational seminars on today’s major agricultural issues, including navigating volatile markets, our next Farm Bill and the ongoing fertilizer price crisis, members will receive insight into building their farm brand and successful conservation and sustainability strategies during the two-day event. 

Rachel Cutrer, a Texas farmer and founder and CEO of Ranch House Designs, Inc., will provide an in-depth look at direct-to-consumer marketing and how Iowa livestock farmers can build their own farm brand to capitalize on growing consumer trends and marketing opportunities.  Dr. Mark Licht, Iowa State University (ISU) professor and extension cropping systems specialist, will share expert analysis on the role cropping systems play in conservation progress and soil health improvement.   Additional educational sessions include an ag market outlook and national policy update amidst market swings and early Farm Bill discussions in Washington, D.C.  

The ongoing fertilizer crisis, which has presented farmers with costs up to 300% higher than just a year ago, remains a huge challenge and concern for members.  To help members navigate surging fertilizer costs and look for possible solutions, IFBF will bring together an expert panel for a breakout session titled “Alternative to Combat Increased Fertilizer Costs.” 

Throughout the meeting, members will celebrate the achievements of county Farm Bureaus and member leaders and recognize IFBF’s Young Farmer Leadership Award winners, Distinguished Service to Ag (DSA) recipients, Ag Leader Institute graduates, Farm Bureau Community Partnership Awards and others.  More than a dozen farmers will compete in the Young Farmer Discussion Meet, with robust dialogue, insight and idea sharing on the biggest issues facing agriculture today among the next generation of Farm Bureau leaders. 

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, Brent Johnson, Calhoun County farmer and IFBF president, will deliver his first Annual Meeting keynote address.  “It’s a tremendous honor to be trusted to serve as the Iowa Farm Bureau president, and our Annual Meeting is a great time to gather as members and celebrate our collective achievements while recognizing the accomplishments of the members who are the strength of our organization,” said Johnson.  “We are looking forward to recognizing our outstanding leaders and sharing valuable insight on important issues and new opportunities that members can take back to their farms.”  

Following Johnson’s comments, members will hear a keynote speech from Jason Brown, a former NFL star who walked away from professional football to become a full-time farmer.  Brown, a former offensive lineman drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2005, became the highest-paid center in the NFL after signing a $37.5 million contract with the St. Louis Rams in 2009.  Rather than pursuing his next big contract in free agency following his stint with the Rams, Brown retired from the game and bought a 1,000 acre farm in North Carolina, where he’s been farming full time since 2013.  Brown, who gives away nearly everything he grows on his farm, will share his inspirational message on resiliency and tenacity and the parallels between the football field and farm.  

For more information, a detailed agenda or to register for the 2022 IFBF Annual Meeting, visit https://www.iowafarmbureau.com/News/IFBF-Annual-Meeting