102nd Annual WyFB Meeting: Successful meeting sets policy, honors leaders in agriculture
Cody – The 102nd Annual Meeting of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) was held Nov. 11-13 with the purpose of developing policy to guide the organization. Throughout the meeting, members discussed policy originating from members at the county level and awarded leadership in rural communities.
According to WyFB Executive Vice President Ken Hamilton, policy discussion is the main reason for WyFB’s annual meetings. He shared, “County Farm Bureau Federation members start the policy development process at the local level by discussing policy issues of concern to the members and their families.”
The 30 x 30 land conservation program, also known as “America the Beautiful,” as outlined by President Biden’s Executive Order Number 14008, was strongly opposed by WyFB members. The delegation voted to push back against the efforts of the program, and ask that Wyoming’s Congressional representatives, the state legislature and governor stand against the executive mandates.
Vaccination mandates and passports, as well as any discrimination related to medical history was strongly opposed.
“Our members strongly believe individual freedoms are vital,” said Hamilton. “Policy passed this year supports our members’ beliefs that individuals can assess their circumstances without the need for governmental guidance.”
In addition, WyFB members reaffirmed their stance on the elimination of the ability to change party affiliation on election day, and voiced the importance of election integrity, calling for voter identification requirements for all elections and utilizing in-person voting to the greatest extent.
The importance of energy independence, particularly to maintain fossil-fueled vehicles, was also reaffirmed.
Dedication to agriculture awarded
Andy Greer, a former Niobrara County Farm Bureau Federation president, was awarded the 2021 WyFB Leadership Award in Cody. This award is presented to those who have devoted time and efforts into the betterment of agriculture in Wyoming through leadership in WyFB.
“We are proud to recognize Andy Greer for his leadership for agriculture through the Farm Bureau Federation in Wyoming,” said WyFB President Todd Fornstrom. “Great leadership and organizational skills are two strong traits, but more importantly, his kind heart and drive to help others no matter what they need make him highly deserving of this award.”
Greer served on the Niobrara County Farm Bureau Federation Board for many years, and help the county president position from 2009-19. He also served on the Niobrara County Fair Board and both the Niobrara Electric Association Board and the Wyoming Rural Electric Association Board.
This year, he and his wife Brenda sold the ranch at Lance Creek and retired to Sheridan County.
Retired Wyoming State Veterinarian Dr. Jim Logan was awarded the WyFB Distinguished Service Award during the meeting. This award is given to those who have gone above and beyond what is necessary in their service to agriculture.
Logan served Wyoming ranchers as the state veterinarian during two terms, from 1997-2004 and 2009-21, as well as assistant state veterinarian from 2007-09.
“Dr. Logan’s dedication to agriculture in Wyoming has shown through his 20-plus years serving agriculture through regulatory veterinary medicine,” Fornstrom said. “His commonsense approach, calm demeanor and knowledge of animal health issues were driving factors in decisions made during difficult animal health regulatory issues.”
Hamilton noted Logan played an instrumental role in the development of the Wyoming Brucellosis Designed Surveillance Area regulations, which increased trust in the sale of Wyoming cattle, and recognized Logan’s role in revising language in the Code of Federal Regulations to strengthen brucellosis eradication and control.
In Cody, Fornstrom was elected to his sixth term as the president of WyFB.
Fornstrom farms with his wife, Laura, and four children in Laramie County. He also runs Premium Hay Products, an alfalfa pellet mill and a trucking business and a custom combining business.
“I enjoy the people and the policy development process,” Fornstrom commented. “It is fun and an incredible honor to represent the members of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation. Bringing people together for the good of agriculture is very rewarding.”
Additionally, Cole Coxbill of Goshen County was elected to his sixth term as vice president of WyFB.
Coxbill and his wife, Sammie, have three children and run a trucking business, commercial spraying business and raise cattle.
He said, “I admire the power of one that gives strength to the grassroots policy development process. The power of one individual sharing their voice at the county level through the state level through the national level makes a difference for agriculture.”
Lane Hageman, of Goshen County, was elected to his first term as the director-at-large at the 102nd WyFB Annual Meeting. Hageman lives and works on his family’s cow/calf operation in southeastern Wyoming and is a Goshen County Farm Bureau Federation Member, as well as a member of the WyFB Young Farmer and Rancher Committee.
Hageman shared, “I believe in WyFB policy and have enjoyed my involvement in the organization. Farm Bureau is one of the strongest avenues of a grassroots body of agriculture to influence policy at the state and national level, and it will be a privilege to serve on this board.”
Averi Hales is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.