The Iowa Farm Bureau is marking its centennial year and opens its annual convention in Des Moines later today, which is expected to draw about a thousand members from across the state.
Bureau president Craig Hill says there will be top-flight entertainment and in-depth agricultural education through a host of speakers and workshops. “We want to talk about how we make things happen in rural communities,” Hill says. “Presenters and panelists will talk about economic development and investment in Iowa.”
Just last week there was word of a pending agreement on a key piece of agricultural legislation before Congress and several important players will be able to discuss its status at the convention. “The Farm Bill will be a subject and we’ve got panelists coming from the Senate and House ag committees to talk about the updates on the Farm Bill and its progress,” Hill says. “Trade will be a big issue.” Ambassador Gregg Doud, who serves as the nation’s chief agricultural negotiator, will be at the convention to address the latest trade agreements.
Hill says one of Wednesday’s keynote speakers is Iowa-born astronaut Peggy Whitson. “She is just retired from NASA,” Hill says. “She spent 600-some days in space, more than any other human. She’s from Ringgold County, a farm girl that went to space. She’s going to be talking about her experiences and her challenges.”
The convention runs through Wednesday at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)