Mary­land Farm Bureau holds an­nual con­ven­tion

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Bay Views -

OCEAN CITY — The Mary­land Farm Bureau held its 103rd An­nual Con­ven­tion from Dec. 2 to 4 at the Clar­ion Re­sort Ho­tel in Ocean City with more than 400 vot­ing del­e­gates, mem­bers, and guests in at­ten­dance.

“It has been a chal­leng­ing year for farm­ers, with the rain and low prices. But com­ing to­gether as Farm Bureau has re-en­er­gized us,” said Chuck Fry, MFB pres­i­dent. “I look for­ward to work­ing with the Farm Bureau fam­ily in the year ahead.”

The three-day con­ven­tion fea­tured pre­sen­ta­tions, awards, elec­tions, and dis­cus­sions to ed­u­cate mem­bers on Farm Bureau ac­tiv­i­ties and the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try. MFB Pres­i­dent Chuck Fr y, Na­tion­wide In­sur­ance Board mem­ber Steve Hirsch, Mary­land Sec­re­tary of Agri­cul­ture Joe Barten­felder, Dean of Univer­sity of Mary­land’s Col­lege of AGNR Dr. Craig Bey­routy and Miss Mary­land Agri­cul­ture Bai­ley Riggs ad­dressed the mem­bers. Co­me­dian and farmer Les­lie Nor­ris Townsend gave the keynote ad­dress about her move “From Hol­ly­wood to the Corn­fields.”

The Young Farm­ers group par­tic­i­pated in a pol­icy de­vel­op­ment ses­sion led by Cody Lyon, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Ad­vo­cacy and Po­lit­i­cal Af­fairs with the Amer­i­can Farm Bureau Fed­er­a­tion. Sev­eral Young Farm­ers also com­peted in the Dis­cus­sion Meet com­pe­ti­tion, vy­ing for trips to New Or­leans in Jan­uary and Milwaukee in March. The Women’s Lead­er­ship Com­mit­tee also heard from Cody Lyon about ad­vo­cat­ing for Farm Bureau.

Com­mit­tee meet­ings were held Dec. 3, in­clud­ing dairy, wildlife man­age­ment, field crops, and com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Sev­eral guest speak­ers from var­i­ous Mary­land de­part­ments and or­ga­ni­za­tions were in at­ten­dance to brief com­mit­tee mem­bers on is­sues of im­por­tance. Dur­ing the busi­ness ses­sions on Monday and Tuesday, Farm Bureau vot­ing del­e­gates from all 23 coun­ties re­viewed the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s pol­icy on is­sues pend­ing be­fore govern­ment. The 2019 pol­icy po­si­tions that were adopted by the del­e­gate body will pro­vide di­rec­tion for the Farm Bureau lob­by­ing team in An­napo­lis and Wash­ing­ton.

“Through the Farm Bureau or­ga­ni­za­tion, we will work to put in place poli­cies in Wash­ing­ton to im­prove trade agree­ments and sure up risk man­age­ment with the new Farm Bill. In Mary­land, we will work to pro­tect the eco­nomic value of our crops with bet­ter wildlife man­age­ment and weed con­trol,” said Fry.

MFB’s an­nual Awards Ban­quet was held Monday night of con­ven­tion. Awards were pre­sented to the fol­low­ing mem­bers:

• Young Farmer Dis­cus­sion Meet win­ner: Matt Tef­feau, Tal­bot County

• Young Farmer Col­le­giate Dis­cus­sion Meet win­ner: Bethany Mey­ers, Gar­rett County

• Sil­ver Bowl Awards: Queen Anne’s and Fred­er­ick coun­ties

• Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice to Farm Bureau Award: Betty Moore, Ce­cil County

The 104th an­nual Mary­land Farm Bureau Con­ven­tion will be held from Dec. 8 to 10, 2019, at The Clar­ion Re­sort Ho­tel in Ocean City.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Del­e­gates vote dur­ing the Mary­land Farm Bureau Con­ven­tion.

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