Farm Bureau Takes Off the Gloves

As the 2010 AFBF Annual Meeting moves along, a common thread has emerged in many of the workshops, press conferences, and speeches. It was echoed by President Stallman, Farm Bureau staff and state Farm Bureau members.  The message is simple:

The gloves are coming off.

In his address to the General Session, President Stallman made it clear that Farm Bureau would no longer play nicely with those who seek to denigrate our industry with wild claims and emotionally charged labels.

“A line must be drawn between our polite and respectful engagement with consumers, and how we must aggressively respond to extremists who want to drag agriculture back to the days of 40 acres and a mule,” said Stallman. “The time has come to face our opponents with a new attitude. The days of their elitist power grabs are over.”

Speaking later that day, Stallman reaffirmed this new and aggressive position saying that there has never been a more critical time to fight back against those who would hurt such an important industry as agriculture. At a time of economic trouble there are those who wish to weaken and change the industry for their own personal desires. That cannot be allowed to happen.

This common thread is found in other areas of the Annual Meeting as well. Ohio Farm Bureau led a breakout session in which they outlined their formula for success in turning back HSUS this past November. OFB President Brent Porteus, told those assembled that the success of the Issue 2 ballot question in Ohio can be a model for all states engaged in the fight with HSUS and animal rights activists.

American Farm Bureau is also continuing to question the supposed ‘settled science’ surrounding the climate change theory. Christopher Horner, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute spoke to assembled members about the misguided nature of Cap and Trade.

“The climate has always changed,” Horner said. “The question is, how does society respond to it- hysterically or rationally?”


5 responses to this post.

  1. This headline caught my eye. Gloves off means a bare nuckle fight. No more niceties with groups or individuals who are critical in one way or the other with parts of production agriculture and industrial food production.
    I very much understand Mr. Stallman’s frustrations about adverse opinions and stinging criticism of parts of our industry. However, those people share Farm Bureau’s fundamental belief in free speech and expression of opinions.

    Yes, Farm Bureau may challenge those to a bare nuckle fight without rules and without a referee. I am not sure that this is really what we in Farm Bureau collectively stand for.

    I challange all of us to respect the facts put on the table by critics and the facts put on the table by those who disagree with the criticism. Producing food is in a constant evolution. Concepts and practices are in a steady flux. Disagreements are a healthy and natural part of this process. I want Farm Bureau to stay a reputable and strong organization in this important process. A love for facts, knowledge, honesty, pride and passion does characterize us.

    Bare nuckle fights are not the answer.


    • Posted by Shawn Martini on January 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm

      That is definitely something to take into consideration Albert. I think Mr. Stallman is talking less about being mean or unprofessional, and more about being strong and less passive in our responses.

      We need to continue to talk about the good things agriculture provides for this country but we also need to be willing to take on vocal, misleading activists who hurt our industry.


    • Posted by Rodney Culverwell on January 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      We do not all have income from being doctors or lawyers. Not all ranches are handed down from generation to generation. Some of us have to pay for our land, equipment and livestock from the production that our acreage allows. Any time there is an encroachment of property rights the chance to have a self sustaining agriculture operation decreases. When all farms and ranches can no longer be self sustaining then we have converted to socialism. Although there are some places that accept socialism, Farm Bureau is not a grassroots group for socialism. I believe that the “gloves off” approach to call a spade a spade is an acceptable avenue to pursue, I personally would like to say we should not be so politically correct and just do what is right. But, if someone wants to call it– “gloves off”, I think we are all talking about the same thing. I believe as a Farm Bureau member the organization should become a little more blunt and straight to the point,,, before it is too late. It appears that opposing groups see our willingness to be passive and try to get along as a weakness. A weakness that will cost this country our ability to raise food if our procedures on dealing with opposition groups does not change.
      Being politically correct and passive has not been a very good answer thus far. How long can we financially afford to allow it to cost us our freedoms and rights?


  2. We in Agriculture, must take a proactive stance and talk to our critics with using sound science backing our statements. Tom Verquer


  3. […] from damaging our industry and slandering our families. Perhaps it was Issue 2 in Ohio, or AFBF President Stallman’s recent address, but it is clear that Ag should expect a counter-punch from radical animal rights groups in ballot […]


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