TFB president says organization found new approaches in 2020 to accomplish goals
(WACO, Texas)—The president of the state’s largest farm and ranch organization says the challenges of 2020 allowed Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) to find new approaches to accomplish its goals in representing Texas farmers and ranchers.
Russell Boening of Poth—who runs a 450-cow dairy and a beef cattle operation, as well as grows wheat, cotton, feed grains and watermelons—told TFB leaders meeting in Waco at the organization’s 87th annual meeting that TFB reflects the resiliency of its members.
“Agriculture producers are accustomed to figuring out how to deal with things that are out of their control. We are experts. You don’t get to choose the weather or the markets. You can only choose how you deal with it,” Boening said. “Our organization found success this year, despite all of the challenges. We pursued our mission. We just didn’t say, ‘We can’t do that.’ We found a new approach to accomplish our goals.”
Boening highlighted the year’s membership success of 533,856 member-families, which represents 20 consecutive years of membership growth. One hundred and thirty county Farm Bureaus accomplished a membership gain this year.
He said TFB pursued different ways to promote its legislative initiatives. He thanked members for championing TFB efforts for COVID-19 agriculture relief and ensuring agriculture was deemed essential. Among its advocacy activities, Boening said, TFB hosted 32 virtual meetings with over 300 county Farm Bureau leaders and nearly all members of the Texas Congressional Delegation.
“But I learned this–Texas Farm Bureau is built for a year like 2020. We will always be there for the farm and ranch families of this state. No farmer, no rancher should face difficult issues alone,” Boening said.
Boeing said county Farm Bureaus continue to invest in the future, and in a big way. For the most recent 12-month reporting period, county Farm Bureau expenditures for youth activities totaled $910,000. County Farm Bureau scholarships for the same period were $527,000. He said between TFB and county Farm Bureaus, more than $736,000 in scholarships were awarded to high school seniors, enrolled college students and technical college students.
TFB delegates annually adopt the state policy positions that guide the organization for the coming year, as well as recommend national policy resolutions to the American Farm Bureau Federation for consideration.