Is Farm Bureau Effective?
On the cusp of North Carolina Farm Bureau’s 75th year is a good time to reflect on the organization’s mission to improve the quality of life for agricultural and rural families.
Above all else, Farm Bureau is the unified voice of North Carolina’s farmers in the North Carolina General Assembly and the United States Congress. In that role, we have made and continue to make noteworthy differences.
During its early days, Farm Bureau’s support helped make Kerr Scott’s Farm-to-Market-Roads a reality, giving North Carolina the most extensive secondary paved roads system in the country.
When the state’s constitution was rewritten under Gov. Bob Scott, it was Farm Bureau that made sure agriculture was not left out. Farm Bureau was also there when the Department of Natural Resources was founded.
More recently, Farm Bureau has fought for present-use value taxation, the dairy industry, drought relief, and transportation regulations that make sense for both farmers and non-farmers.
After nearly three-quarters-of-a-century, Farm Bureau has earned a place among the powerful legislative voices, but its contributions to North Carolina range far beyond the legislative arena.
In 1953, Farm Bureau introduced its first member service–North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company. For the first time, the insurance needs of farmers and rural citizens were met. Farm Bureau even introduced health care to rural North Carolina.
With success and its extensive network of offices, Farm Bureau is a respected member of the business community in every county in North Carolina.
Furthermore, North Carolina’s counties benefit from Farm Bureau’s leadership development programs. Farm Bureau helps prepare mayors, county commissioners, city councilmen, school board members, and a host of volunteers to serve their local communities.
The organization’s LEAD, Women’s and Young Farmers and Ranchers programs are also making a difference in their counties.
We are proud of the fifty students at North Carolina State University who recently established the first Collegiate Young Farmers and Ranchers program. An N.C. A&T State University chapter is in the works.
NCFB’s Ag in the Classroom program is the premier program in the country. The Department of Public Instruction recognizes Ag in the Classroom as one of its key resources for improving teacher and student performance. Through workshops and projects, more than 196,000 students were impacted by Ag in the Classroom during 2008.
Farm Bureau has hosted 1,677 rising high school seniors at its two Institutes for Future Agricultural Leaders (IFAL) since 1984.
NCFB has awarded 1,076 R. Flake Shaw Scholarships to young people since 1967, an investment of more than $3 million. Furthermore, county Farm Bureaus contributed more than $45,000 to local scholarships during 2009.
We are an instrumental partner with both land grant universities’ 4-H and FFA activities. In 2008, North Carolina Farm Bureau contributed $32,800 to these promotions. Additionally, North Carolina Farm Bureau has pledged $250,000 to the 4-H Centennial to be paid over a five year period.
The Farm Bureau Movement is so well-known and our integrity so trusted across North Carolina that our membership has passed the 500,000 mark.
North Carolina Farm Bureau is only the second state to reach such a milestone in the history of American Farm Bureau Federation. Approximately 10 percent of North Carolinian’s trust Farm Bureau to protect their interests and livelihoods, whether they are farmers or not.
Can you picture North Carolina without Farm Bureau?