American Farm Bureau delegates send message to Capitol Hill

South Dakota Farm Bureau
Farm Forum

American Farm Bureau delegates sent an urgent message to lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week regarding how important regulatory reform is for agriculture and rural America. South Dakota Farm Bureau members were among 5,000 Farm Bureau members representing all 50 states and Puerto Rico at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting held January 7-11, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The 98th Annual Meeting included national resolutions session which set policies for the upcoming year, as well as, workshops and seminars. South Dakota Farm Bureau President Scott VanderWal of Volga, S.D. is beginning his second year as AFBF vice president.

“We were very pleased with the Annual Meeting and thought the delegate session sent a loud call to action to our leaders in Washington. Rural voters came out in November and said we were tired of being ignored. We need more control of our government again, and we are hopeful the new leadership is ready to listen,” said VanderWal. “In addition to hearing from AFBF President Zippy Duvall during the general session, attendees also were inspired by NFL Quarterback Peyton Manning and his father Archie Manning. Their life lessons were very relevant to those of us involved in agriculture and to the beliefs of our organization.”

The South Dakota delegation consisted of members of the SDFB Board, representatives from the Women’s Leadership Team (WLT) and Young Farmers and Ranchers Program (YF& R) as well as SDFB members and state staff.

“I was very honored to represent the midwest as a delegate on behalf of the AFBF Women’s Leadership Team,” said Cindy Foster, WLT voting delegate. “It was very interesting to be part of grassroots policy in action and represent our members and our state on the national stage.”

SDFB members who served in leadership roles at the AFBF convention are as follows:

• Scott VanderWal, AFBF vice president, SDFB Board president, voting delegate

• Wanda Blair, SDFB Board vice-president, voting delegate

• Richard Vasgaard, SDFB Board member, voting alternate delegate

• Cindy Foster, SDFB Board member, WLT voting delegate

• Janet Hurlbert, WLT voting delegate

• Kathy Hanrahan, WLT voting alternate

• Ida Sander, WLT voting alternate

• Krystil Smit, SDFB executive director