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Wyomingites travel to New Orleans for American Farm Bureau’s centennial meeting

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

New Orleans, La. – With the centennial of the American Farm Bureau Federation as the highlight of the week, a number of Wyoming Farm Bureau members made the trip to the Louisiana for the organization’s annual event, each sharing remarkable experiences.

First timers

This year was the first convention for Chad and Nicole Ziehl and their first trip to New Orleans. The Ziehls raise alfalfa close to Casper. 

They had the opportunity to attend several workshops while in Louisiana. 

“We heard one on ideas for estate planning and another on animal cruelty. In a workshop put on by Tennessee Farm Bureau, they cited cases where animal cruelty incidents by the non-farm public negatively affected the reputation of farmers and ranchers,” explain the Ziehls. “The ag community came together and formed a nonprofit organization that works to ensure proper animal care with the sheriffs’ departments, brand inspectors and others.”

As with all members, one of the perks of attending the convention is chatting with other Farm Bureau members. 

“We visited with a couple from Wisconsin who had a dairy, so we talked a lot about hay. He told me our hay is too cheap,” Chad comments. “He sells a 50-pound bale for $4.50. We talked about the fact that his wife was working full-time off the farm and that one sees that more and more.”

As for Trump, Chad found it refreshing to hear a president he believes, “is going to be the first president to actually do what he said he would do. Everyone is going to start to see that. He was positive about the farm economy.” 

He added, “We might have to struggle a bit with the current trade situation, but in the end, the new trade deals that are developed will be more beneficial.” 

History and opportunity

Chad was also amazed at New Orleans 300-year history and thought it was fun to try new foods like alligator, squid and beignets. In addition, Chad and his wife had the opportunity to go fishing in Lake Ponchantrain. 

“It was interesting seeing those old oil wells there. Some of them were put in during World War II. The average depth of that lake is only six feet deep,” he explains.

“It was a good convention, and Farm Bureau is a good organization that advocates for agriculture and care about farmers and ranchers,” said Chad.

Long-time attendees

Kim Kortes and her husband G.G. traveled from Hanna. This was the fifth convention Kim had attended and said she enjoyed it very much. 

“The IDEAg Trade show is always fun to go around,” said Kim. “It’s a great place to see other Farm Bureau members from around the country. We can always walk up to someone and start talking about where they are from and what they produce.”

The Kortes took a tour of the Zehn-Noh Grain Corporation’s export facility on the Mississippi. 

“Their ability to ship grain was amazing, and it was an interesting tour,” said Kortes. “The St. James Parish Farm Bureau hosted the lunch for us and showed us real southern hospitality.”

Following lunch, the tour group visited a sugar refinery where they had the chance to see sugarcane cut into pieces. 

Kim explained, “Once it’s cut, the sugarcane has to get to the mill and be processed within 24 hours. The mill takes the raw sugar which then goes to the refinery.”

“The farmers’ co-ops designated how much trucks each farm can bring, so everybody gets a fair share of their sugar into the mill and refinery,” she added. “It was so interesting and different than sugarbeets.” 

Great event

Kortes thought the overall convention was fabulous. 

“President Trump was outstanding. He wants to know what we need to get our jobs done. I feel he cares about what we need. I believe American Farm Bureau is in good hands with President Zippy Duvall. He is an outstanding representative and spokesperson for the organization.”

Rebecca Colnar is a correspondent for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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