Members of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) will gather for the organization's 93rd annual meeting Dec. 7-8, 2011 at the Polk County Convention Center in Des Moines to discuss the many aspects of food and energy production and the important role Iowa farmers play as international leaders in ag technology, innovation and environmental sustainability.
To celebrate the annual gathering, Governor Terry Branstad has declared the week of Dec. 4-10 as "Iowa Farm Bureau Week."
"This year, our annual meeting theme 'Setting the Table for the World,' focuses on how our Iowa farmers, our members, help feed and energize a growing world," says Craig Lang, IFBF president and a fifth-generation dairy farmer from Brooklyn. "The world population will grow to more than 9 billion people by 2050, and these people will need food and energy. Iowa farmers lead the nation in the production of corn, soybeans, livestock, ethanol and wind energy. We must be at the table to discuss how our farms can support our nation and the world in a sustainable way. It's a huge task and one that can be met if we continue to focus on developing technology, production efficiencies and conservation practices."
Farmers to discuss transparency and innovation in food production
Lang added that food production discussions also need to address consumers and their needs and demands. "More than ever, people want to know more about the food they eat; where it comes from, how antibiotics are used by livestock farmers or how waterways and soils are protected," said Lang. "Farmers want to be transparent about why they do what they do. I know that we'll have some enlightening discussions that will benefit farmers and consumers, alike."
The IFBF annual meeting educational seminars will discuss the environmental, health and economic aspects of today's food production system and will be kicked off with a luncheon panel discussion of ethical food production. Moderated by Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, the panel will include experts from Pioneer, Elanco and Hy-Vee.
The three educational seminar topics include:
1."Environment: Optimizing Resources to Feed A Hungry World," with Marv Wilson , Pioneer, and Craig Chase, from the Leopold Center;
2. "Health: Meeting Consumer Demand for Safe and Healthy Food," featuring Scott Hurd with the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Bahia Nightengale of the Golden Hills RC&D, and Ellen Reis, HyVee dietician;
3. "Economics: The World Food Economy," with Grady Bishop, Elanco swine business unit director; Frank Mitloehner, ag researcher from the University of California-Davis; and Daniel Whitley, deputy director of the U.S. Foreign Ag Service, a division of USDA.
Lang will address members and special guests on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m. In addition, Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services, will lead a session focused on farm revenue risk and the Food Security Act of 2012 on Dec. 8. The organization will celebrate the contributions of dedicated Farm Bureau members with a recognition banquet on Dec. 7 and a young farm leaders' achievement luncheon on Dec. 8.
Governor proclaims Dec. 4-10 as "Iowa Farm Bureau Week"
Farm Bureau will wrap up its annual meeting with a voting delegate session and elections. The following directors are up for re-election this year: IFBF President Craig Lang, District 2 board member Charles Norris, District 7 board member Andy Hora, and District 9 board member Jim McKnight. Members can register for the 2011 IFBF annual meeting at their county Farm Bureau offices. For more information about the annual meeting, visit www.iowafarmbureau.com.