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For Immediate Release

Farm Bureau leaders will explore "New Fields" at conference

7/6/2011 at 12:00 a.m.

Conference Agenda

LITTLE ROCK — More than 500 farm and ranch leaders will explore “New Fields” July 18-19 through speakers and workshops at Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 63rd annual Officers and Leaders Conference.  The conference will be at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

The conference serves as a training and information event for local Farm Bureau leaders.

“Keeping our leaders educated and abreast of current issues is a key component of the Officers and Leaders Conference,” said Randy Veach, Arkansas Farm Bureau president. “The conference also gives our leaders the opportunity to learn from one another.”

The conference has several additional activities, including keynote speaker Rulon Gardner, Olympic gold medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling and Biggest Loser contestant. Gardner will share his story about overcoming adversity.

Entertainment for the conference will be provided by the band Exit 123.

Several conference workshops will be available, including:

  • Food Security / Farm Bill. In this workshop, Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation will discuss the challenges agriculture faces as it moves toward writing the 2012 farm bill and the priorities of the American Farm Bureau.

  • Labor / Immigration. State legislatures continue to struggle with immigration issues. Employment, identification/driver’s licenses and law enforcement remain top areas of interest for immigrant-related bills. This workshop will discuss the current status of labor and immigration in Arkansas.

  •  Policy Development. This workshop will focus on policy development and how counties can rejuvenate their efforts. You will also learn about the procedure, pitfalls and best practices of policy development. Pick up ideas about revitalizing work on the county level, infusing policy with fresh ideas and making the most of resources available. Also, share with your fellow leaders what works in your county while picking their brains about the challenges faced in the policy-development process.

  • Telling Agriculture’s Story.  This workshop will cut through the abstract and examine some of the new tools Arkansas Farm Bureau is using to tell the farm story. More importantly, we’ll show you how to use the tools in your own county.

  • State Water Plan / Mineral Issues. Water quantity and quality have been growing issues throughout Arkansas. The 88th General Assembly prioritized the State Water Plan, funding the start of a review process, and considered numerous proposals dealing with water usage and concerns in the Fayetteville Shale natural gas production area. Our speakers are directly involved in these matters and will discuss what's going on presently and what might happen in the future.


Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of almost 220,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.


For more information contact:

Steve Eddington
(501) 228-1383
PO Box 31, Little Rock 72203


Tara Johnson
(501) 228-1611
PO Box 31, Little Rock 72203

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