The University of Missouri Collegiate Farm Bureau welcomed Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, to speak to MU students on April 16, 2015.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation website www.fb.org, Stallman, a Texas native, is an honors graduate from the University of Texas at Austin. Stallman graduated in 1974 and returned to the family farm operation in 1975, where they specialized in cattle and rice production.
He became a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors in 1994, and was appointed federation president Jan. 13, 2000, becoming only the 11th president in federation history.
Stallman focused his talk for MU students on issues present in today’s agriculture industry, and how the Farm Bureau is approaching those problems.
“The Farm Bureau is a general farm organization,” Stallman said. “We cover all aspects of agriculture.”
He touched on issues such as regulation, GMO labeling, drone usage, trade and climate control. Stallman gave an informative educational talk on what students can expect in the future and what is happening today.
“I hope that students were able to gain background information of current agricultural issues and were empowered to share their message of agriculture to those who may be disconnected,” said Morgan Beach, CFB president.
There were roughly 50 people present during the lecture, including both MU students and Missouri Farm Bureau members.
“The Collegiate Farm Bureau officer team set a goal this year of bringing a spring speaker to campus, much like the annual Farm Forum,” Beach said.
Stallman’s day on the MU campus included teaching a policy class, having lunch with CAFNR Associate Dean Bryan Garton, speaking at the 87th annual State FFA Convention and finally speaking with students on agricultural issues in the evening.
“This has been a very fun day for me,” Stallman said. “I enjoy being able to do these sorts of things.”
The American Farm Bureau Federation calls itself the “Voice of Agriculture,” and has been reaching out to consumers and farmers in new ways.
The popularity of social media, has led the Farm Bureau Federation to create a presence on sites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Stallman believes people want to relate with and make connections to real farmers, and social media allows Farm Bureau to help create that connection.
Along with social media sites, the Farm Bureau, as part of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, supported the documentary titled “Farmland,” which is available on Netflix. The documentary provides insight into farming life and an opportunity to hear views on changes in agriculture.