American Farm Bureau

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American Farm Bureau Federation
Founded 1919
Headquarters Washington DC , Washington
United States
Industry Agriculture
Product/Service Agriculture services and insurance

The American Farm Bureau Federation is the unified national voice of agriculture, working through our grassroots organization to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities.


In 1862 the Morrill Act established a number of land grant colleges across the country. These colleges were part of the Extension education movement, and the Hatch Act of 1887 established agriculture experimental stations at these colleges. These stations served as "Farmer's Institutes," a place of education for farmers.

In 1911 John Barron went to Broome County, New York to serve as the first Farm Bureau representative. It was financed jointly by the USDA, the Binghamton Chamber of Commerce and the Lackawanna Railroad.

Other states such as: Missouri, North Dakota, Vermont, Minnesota, Iowa, West Virginia and Illinois created similar state level farmers' organizations. In 1914, the Smith Lever Act donated additional funds and really furthered the effort.

In 1919 a group of farmers from 30 different states met in Chicago, Illinois, and founded the American Farm Bureau Federation. Their motive was to be able to speak for themselves through their own national organization. In 1920, the AFBF released the original mission statement:

"The purpose of Farm Bureau is to make the business of farming more profitable, and the community a better place to live. Farm Bureau should provide and organization in which members may secure the benefits of unified efforts in a way which could never be accomplished through individual effort."


They were able to get Congress to approve a regulation of grain exchanges and grain future trading, a packers and stockyard control act, and an extension of the War Finance Corportation's power to help financial agricultural exports in less than 6 weeks of getting into Washington. From the legislature, they received an increased supply of federal farm loan bonds, $25 million working capital for the federal farm loan system and a promise for $100 million for highway construction in rural areas. The New York Times said it was "The most forceful group of influence in national politics today" afterwards.

In 1922 the first president, James Howard stepped down for health reasons and was succeeded by Ohio Farm Bureau leader Oscar Bradfute. He declares new goal as "Service through cooperative marketing."

They supported the US Grain Growers, a grain marketing cooperative, and bought several private operations in hopes of gaining entry into the new market. It ended up being a failure after two whole years of support from the AFBF.

In the mid 1920's they helped establish the "Minor crop" idea to many states. This led to an increase in the production of sweet potatoes and melons in the South, potatoes in Maine, dairy in the Midwest, eggs in Minnesota and tobacco in several areas.

In 1924-25 The AFBF was in widespread support of the McNary Haugen bill. It would implement a two tier price system for crops like grain. The two tier stystem would benefit farmers because they would receive discounted prices for a surplus. The bill eventually passed in 1927.

Hoover loses much support from the Farm Bureau after contesting the McNary Haugen bill. He would not run for re-election.

Current objectives and activities

Goals for the year: Promoting the newly developed curriculum that accompanies episodes of the America’s Heartland TV series. Continuing to strengthen agricultural literacy among consumers through Ag in the Classroom projects. Telling the story of agriculture through collaboration with agricultural leaders on the Accurate Ag Books project which provides children’s books about agriculture to schools and libraries. Teacher scholarships to the National Ag in the Classroom Conference. Mini-grants for Farm Bureau groups to increase ag literacy efforts in their communities.

There are many issues that the AFBF has to deal with at the moment. Some include issues that deal with animal agriculture and livestock. They want to make sure that farmers are treating their animals with care. Energy and transportation is important to them because they have comprehensive energy policies and federal motor carrier safety regulations. They also deal with environment and land use with clean water jurisdictions and they help stop global climate change.

They work with the FDA in regards to farm bill implementation and food safety and labeling. They also push congress to expand international trade and want to expand our market in international trade. They deal with labor and immigration and ensure an entirely legal workforce for the department of agriculture. Finally they support a capital gains tax, estate tax reforms and renewable energy tax incentives.

Organizational structure

American Farm Bureau Federation

President- Bob Stallman. Jan 13, 2000-Present. The 11th president in AFBF history. Former president of the Texas Farm Bureau. Appointed by former president George W. Bush in 2007 to the White House Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

Executive Vice President- Richard Newpher. Former 13 year secretary/treasurer for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. He has been working with the AFBF since 1973 in various positions.

American Farm Bureau Insurance Services Inc.

Vice President and General Manager- Jim Aldeman


This section should recount the group's major achievements, including but not limited to legislative and/or legal victories.[1]

The American Farm Bureau actually started its own insurance company known as the American Farm Bureau Insurance Services Inc. This company is based out of Schaumburg, Illinois and is designed to insure farmers' crops and livestock in times of disaster. There are many different plans to choose from and is available to customers in 19 different states.

The insurance company not only just covers the crops and livestock, they offer different services to help farmers out too. Some include: Underwriting reviews, making software available to help meet reporting requirements, helping enter data and claims handling.

Public perception and controversies

In developing this final section, be especially careful about maintaining a neutral stance and tone. Your aim should be to document the public's perception of your group and/or any controversies in which it is or has been embroiled without weighing in with your own opinion about them.

According to recent public opinion research compiled by the AFBF's public relations division, farmers have a positive public image. This comes from both focus groups and nation-wide polls.

"Americans like and trust farmers- regardless of stereotypes- and believe they contribute a great deal to society." The nation-wide poll showed that 85% of Americans think farmers contribute a great deal to society. Farmers were only behind firefighters (89%) and teachers (87%). They finished ahead of: members of the Clergy (71%) businessmen (50%) bankers (32%) and politicians (13%).

When the poll was given to farmers and asked how they felt the general American public viewed them, only 47% thought they had a good public image.


  1. "Major Success for Interest Group X," Anytown Daily News, January 1, 2015, p. A6.

The Voice of Agriculture: American Farm Bureau.

American Farm Bureau Insurance Services Inc.