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Arkansas Farm Bureau Sets 79th Convention

11/21/2013 at 9:00 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK —Arkansas Farm Bureau will celebrate its organizational strength at its 79th annual convention, set for Dec. 4-6 at the Marriott Hotel and Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach, Arkansas political insider and cultural observer Rex Nelson, and nuclear physicist Taylor Wilson headline the speakers for the convention, which is expected to attract more than 1,000.

Wilson is a 19-year-old Arkansas native who attracted international attention when he created nuclear fusion as a 14-year-old, in his parent’s garage. He earned the Intel Young Scientist Award at the 2011 International Science and Engineering Fair, and was selected for a Thiel Fellowship in 2012. He currently lives in Reno, Nevada, where he is working to commercialize several of his nuclear projects. His family owns the Nashville Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company in Howard County, which has been in operation for more than 100 years.

The convention’s theme, Farm Bureau Strong, will be reinforced throughout the convention’s three-day run, including several conferences, competitions and special meetings. 

The convention culminates with the organization’s annual business session, where 300 voting delegates will define the organization’s policy positions on items of importance to Farm Bureau members. The delegate body also elects the organization’s president and vice president.

“We tout agriculture as Arkansas’ largest industry,” said Veach, a cotton, rice and soybean farmer from Manila (Mississippi County) who is concluding his fifth year as president of the organization. “We don’t always position that as one of our state’s strengths, but we should.

“The work undertaken by Arkansas Farm Bureau – done to improve the opportunities for Arkansas farm and ranch families – is significant. We plan to highlight those strengths and advocacy efforts throughout this convention.”

Special conferences will cover topics such public policy, rural funding opportunities and environmental issues. Commodity-specific conferences in poultry, rice, forestry, cotton, beef, soybeans, dairy, equine, wheat and feed grains and specialty crops also are scheduled. 

Conference topics cover a broad set of issues, including water quality/quantity discussions, the Endangered Species Act, the Arkansas Unpaved Roads Program, proposed constitutional amendments, immigration and labor issues, and technology improvements that impact crop yields. 

Additionally, a reception will be held for retiring executive vice president Ewell Welch.

The convention will spotlight the winners in several different competitions among Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer & Rancher members.

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 and Agriculture Educator of the Year. Also, the Stanley E. Reed Leadership Award will be presented. 

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Mike Beebe

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Randy Veach 
President, ARFB

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Rex Nelson
Ark. Political & Cultural Observer 

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Taylor Wilson
Nuclear Physicist

Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of more than 190,000 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


Gregg Patterson
(501) 228-1282
PO Box 31, Little Rock 72203

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