LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Farm Bureau’s role in
providing an agricultural “Legacy” will be the focus for the
organization’s 77th Annual Convention, scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at
the Peabody Hotel and Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
Gov. Mike Beebe, Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy
Veach, humorist Jeanne Robertson and Wal-Mart Senior Director for Issue
Management & Strategic Outreach, Joe Quinn, headline the speakers
for the convention, which is expected to attract more than 1,000.
This year’s convention theme is “Legacy.” It will play out
in several conferences, competitions and special meetings throughout
the convention’s three-day run. The convention culminates with the
organization’s annual business session, where more than 300 voting
delegates elect the president and vice president and define the
organization’s policy positions on items of importance to Farm Bureau
“Legacy, especially in the context of Arkansas Farm
Bureau’s work, is a powerful and emotional word. This organization has
built a legacy as the voice of Arkansas agriculture,” said Veach, a
cotton, rice and soybean farmer from Manila (Mississippi County) who is
concluding his third year as president of the organization.
“But the theme also illustrates how Arkansas Farm Bureau
and its past and present leaders have left legacies and continue
building legacies that positively impact Arkansas and the United
States. Those legacies make our communities thrive, and their impact in
the ongoing success of our state cannot be overstated.”
The convention will spotlight the winners in Farm Bureau’s
Young Farmer & Rancher competitions — the Discussion Meet, and
Excellence in Ag and Achievement awards. The top county Farm Bureau
women’s program and Sew With Cotton contest winners will be named, and
the organization will honor its Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year.
Also, the first Stanley E. Reed Leadership Award recipient will be
announced. Reed was Arkansas Farm Bureau’s president from 2003-2008. He
died in a car accident last July at the age of 59.
Additionally, a number of special conferences will take place, covering
environmental issues, rural health topics, public policy items, along
with private property and mineral and energy rights concerns.
Commodity-specific conferences in poultry, rice, timber, cotton, beef,
soybeans, dairy, equine, wheat and feed grains are also scheduled.