LITTLE ROCK — More than 400 farm and ranch
leaders will find “A Unity of Purpose” July 19-20 through speakers and
workshops at Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 62nd annual Officers and Leaders
Conference. The conference is at the Northwest Arkansas Convention
Center in Springdale.
The conference is a training and information event for local Farm Bureau leaders.
“The Officers and Leaders Conference is a great way to get
our leaders together and keep them abreast of current issues,” said
Randy Veach, Arkansas Farm Bureau president. “While educating our
leaders is essential, developing fellowship and cooperation is equally
Farm Bureau leaders can pick from several conference workshops including:
Confronting Animal Care Issues. In this
workshop, the director of Humane Watch – a new watchdog group
following the Humane Society of the United States – talks about
his group’s work countering anti-animal agriculture messages.
The 2010 National Health Care Reform Law.
This workshop offers a comprehensive summary of the components of
the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures, Planning, and Compliance.
Farm exemptions from Spill Prevention, Control and
Countermeasures regulations expire in November 2010. This workshop
provides farmers with details on how to comply with regulations.
Ballot Issues and the 2011 Legislative Session.
In 2009, the Legislature referred three items to the 2010 ballot.
This workshop gives an overview of those three items and any citizen
initiatives with the necessary signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Illinois River Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load Project.
This session highlights the development of a water-quality model
for the Illinois River watershed in northwest Arkansas and
northeast Oklahoma and possible TMDLs.
2012 Food Security Act. This session
covers some of the factors that could impact the next farm bill and how
Farm Bureau is preparing for the debate.
Discovery Farms: Documenting and Demonstrating Environmental Stewardship.
This workshop highlights the Arkansas Discovery Farms Program
that is providing water-quality research and demonstration data
from farms in Arkansas.
The conference has several additional activities, including a
showing of the documentary, “A Unity of Purpose: Arkansas’ Farmers.”
The documentary is told from the collective memory of past and present
Farm Bureau leaders. It highlights the role of farmers within Arkansas
Farm Bureau and the organization’s impact on improving life in Arkansas
in the past 75 years.
Hypnotist and psychotherapist, Dr. Jon Taylor, is also addressing the conference.
A political discussion concludes the conference. Roby Brock, editor of the Talk Business quarterly magazine and host of the Talk Business TV
and radio shows, will moderate the discussion. Robert McLarty,
political consultant with The Markham Group, and Clint Reed, managing
partner with The Political Firm, will represent viewpoints from both
ends of the political spectrum.