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Commentary: 109th annual meeting returns to Lake of the Ozarks this weekend


Missouri Farm Bureau’s 109th annual meeting runs this Sunday through next Tuesday, following a special meeting for County Farm Bureau Presidents today. Our annual meeting is full of tried-and-true traditions.

The strongest tradition within our annual meeting is that of Farm Bureau leaders gathering from every county to debate and approve legislative policies that will steer the organization in the coming year. The policy book covers everything related to agriculture and rural life, and as both change, so do the policies. The process is the core of our organization and guides our organization’s actions for the next year.

On Sunday afternoon, our resolutions committee will hear and discuss policy ideas from fellow members, then we will gather together for a special gubernatorial forum. At this stage in Missouri’s gubernatorial election, there have been few opportunities to meet all the candidates in one setting. That will happen at our annual meeting when both Republican and Democrat candidates will individually address the group and answer questions from our co-host, Brownfield Ag News. We are looking forward to what the candidates have to say.

Annual meeting traditions are not all work. There is time to welcome old friends as members browse the trade show and silent auction items. Contests during the day encourage youth to become leaders through the MOFB Ambassador program, FFA speaking contest, and various Young Farmers & Ranchers contests. It is always inspiring to watch our future in action. And, it is a joy to watch our members have fun during our Trivia Night battle and other fundraisers that support those very contests and many other programs.

We will host well-known speakers like Jim “The Rookie” Morris and American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. An important part of the meeting is recognizing county Farm Bureaus for their achievements in serving their members and promoting agriculture. It is a lot to squeeze into several days, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.

As we reflect on the past year and look ahead to 2024, I can’t wait to be together with our members. Our Annual Meeting theme this year is “Guided by Tradition.” We look forward to reflecting on the many MOFB traditions that have stood the test of time, yet allowed our organization the flexibility to grow and adapt with changes in the agriculture industry and our hometown communities.