Livingston looks at membership involvement during WyFB meeting
Laramie – Wyoming Farm Bureau’s (WyFB) 94th Annual Meeting was held in Laramie on Nov. 14-16. The event hosted speakers from the American Farm Bureau Federation and involved members in discussions of the latest updates proposed for the policy book.
WyFB President Perry Livingston also addressed the members, encouraging them to be aware and active in the issues that surround Americans daily.
“It is extremely important that our members share their thoughts with elected officials,” Livingston emphasized. “They can only do a good job in what we direct them to do.”
Whether on a local, county, state or national level, Livingston said, “Our elected officials are not mind readers, and they don’t know what we are thinking. They want to know what we think about particular issues.”
In serving as a director on the American Farm Bureau Board of Directors, he added that participating was both rewarding and challenging, and his time of the Board has caused him to reflect on the past and look to the future.
“American Farm Bureau is going be 100 years old in 2019,” Livingston commented. “We aren’t the same organization we were in 1919.”
Even in the last 20 years, he noted that changes have been seen, and to look back at the challenges that our parents and grandparent faced, Livingston said, puts a lump in his throat.
“It is amazing to see where we have come from,” he said. “We also need to look where we are going to be in 2019. We are going to be a different organization then than we are today.”
Into the future
Livingston encouraged members to think about their goals moving forward.
“We need to reflect on where we have been and what we envision the future to look like,” he said. “There are a bunch of people in this room, and while some of us will be here in 10 years, a bunch of us won’t. We need to reflect on where we need to go if the American Farm Bureau is going to continue to be active.”
Changes must be made, Livingston added, to keep up with the changing face of agriculture and America.
“Certainly the way we keep in touch with each other today is different than just 10 years ago,” he said. “We need to use young people to help us and guide us into the future.”
Because of advancements in technology, Livingston further noted that agriculture must keep up.
“Technology is engulfing us faster than ever,” he said. “We, as an organization, have tried to keep our membership informed as best as we can using old methods – like the mail – but that is becoming tougher.”
Not only does new technology increase the speed that information can be delivered, utilizing older methods of communication, like mail delivery, is also growing more and more expensive.
“I understand that these technological changes are a big deal – especially for the older generation,” he said, “so we need to work with young people to stay on top of it.”
With the world and agriculture continually changing, Livingston noted that being a part of organizations like WyFB will continue to be important.
“Agriculture continues to be one of the economic forces that drives the private industry in the state of Wyoming,” Livingston said. “It is a real privilege to be associated with the members of the Farm Bureau organization.”
Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laramie – Perry Livingston of Sundance was elected to his ninth term as President of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) at the organization’s 94th annual meeting in Laramie.
Voting delegates elected Todd Fornstrom of Laramie County to his first term as WyFB Vice President.
Dale Heggem of Torrington was elected to his third term as the Director-At-Large.
The Young Farmer and Rancher Committee elected Raenell Taylor of Hulett to her second term as the state committee chair.
Rounding out the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors are district directors David Garber as Northeast District Director, Kevin Baars as Southeast District Director, Tim Pexton as Central District Director, Glen Reed as Northwest District Director and Justin Ellis as Southwest District Director.