In Farm Bureau
ArFB elects officers, board Randy Veach and Rich Hillman will continue as president and vice president, respectively, of Arkansas Farm Bureau following their re-election Dec. 6. Delegates also re-elected five board members and two new board members during the final day of ArFB’s 79th Annual Convention at the Marriott Hotel and Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. Veach, 63, of Manila (Mississippi County) begins a sixth term as president. He is ArFB’s tenth president since its creation in 1935. Veach farms cotton, soybeans, rice, wheat, corn and milo in and around the community of Lost Cane near Manila. He is a third-generation farmer and farms with his son Brandon. His wife’s name is Thelma. Board action later resulted in the election of Joe Christian, 50, of Jonesboro (Craighead Co.) as Secretary/Treasurer. Christian is a row-crop farmer who farms 2,400 acres. He and his wife, Leah, have two children, Alex and Grayson. The voting delegates re-elected five
At Arkansas Farm Bureau’s state convention in Little Rock, Army Chief Warrant Officer Jordan May (left) presented a special U.S. flag to ArFB President Randy Veach. The flag was flown as part of a combat mission in Afghanistan. May, a member of White County Farm Bureau, flew approximately 1,000 hours of combat as an AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot. For more highlights from this year’s convention, see the special insert inside. board members to new two-year terms and elected two new board members. The new board members include Sherry Felts, Joiner (Mississippi Co.); and Joe Thrash, Conway (Faulkner Co.). The re-elected board members include Troy Buck, Alpine (Clark Co.); Jon Carroll, Moro (Monroe Co.); Mike Freeze, Keo (Lonoke Co.); Bruce Jackson, Lockesburg (Sevier Co.); and Gene Pharr, Lincoln (Washington Co.). Dow Brantley (second from right) of England received this year’s Stanley E. Reed Leadership Award at the state convention Dec. 5. The award was presented by ArFB President Randy Veach (right), Charlene Reed, wife of the late FB leader and award namesake, and Reed’s son-in-law Andy Davis.
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“I feel a great responsibility to this organization and to carry out the wishes of this organization in keeping agriculture and Farm Bureau strong in advocating the interests of agriculture everywhere we go,” Veach said. “This is a position of service, and to the best of my ability, I’ll continue to serve the members of this organization throughout the state. Thank you so much.” Hillman, 50, hails from Carlisle (Lonoke County) and will begin his sixth
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A Publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation
December 20, 2013 • Vol. 16, No. 23
Craighead is top county Craighead County is the state’s top county Farm Bureau organization. Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach presented the President’s Award Dec. 5 to County President Scott Gibson at the organization’s 79th Annual Convention at the Marriott Hotel and Statehouse Convention Center. “It was a team effort. Our county did a great job, and I’m proud of all of them,” Gibson said. Counties competing for the President’s Award must earn a Gold Star in each of 10 categories and be a top scorer in their respective membership category. The 10 Gold Star categories are membership acquisition, organization, public rela-
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term as vice president. He is a sixth-generation farmer. His main crops are rice, soybeans and wheat. He and his wife Tina have two children, Collin and Caroline. “I’m truly blessed to represent an organization that does so many good things for so many people.” Hillman said. “I look forward to this opportunity to continue serving our agricultural community.” Voting delegates also addressed a wide range of policy issues including positions on taxes; environmental regulations; agricultural research, marketing and economic development; the state water plan and water quality; highways and roads issues; and maintaining a safety net for agriculture as part of the pending farm bill.
Leigh Helms of Conway (left) took first place in the 2013 YF&R Discussion Meet at ArFB’s annual convention. Helms, a horse farmer and Family & Consumer Sciences agent with the Faulkner Co. Cooperative Extension Service, won the use of a Kubota tractor for one year and $6,500 toward the purchase of an ATV/UTV of her choice.
Cindy Wilson (right) of Leslie received the inaugural ArFB Women’s Diamond Award at state convention. The honor was presented by Janice Marsh, chairwoman of ArFB’s State Women’s Committee. The award was created to honor a county Farm Bureau leader whose volunteer efforts were “above and beyond the norm.”
tions, commodity services, governmental affairs, women’s activities, Young Farmers & Ranchers activities, member services, safety and youth. The other finalists for the President’s Award were Newton, Scott, Van Buren and Yell counties.
Nearest Office, Pay Bill, Report Claim and
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FB Insurance MOBILE agent app In coming weeks, Farm Bureau Insurance will roll out its MOBILE agent app for Apple and Android devices, providing on-the-go convenience for policyholders. MOBILE agent features will include My Policies, My Agent, Membership, ID Card,
ArFB Ag Education Coordinator Andy Guffey (left) and Baxter Co. FB President Elliot Golmon (right) presented the Outstanding Ag Educator Award to Josh Baker of Mountain Home High School during the state convention in Little Rock. Baker teaches 450 students in ag education and 200 FFA members.
On Nov. 19, outgoing ArFB Executive Vice President Ewell Welch (center) received a Distinguished Service Award from the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas. Presenting the award were Mark Waldrip (left) on the UofA Board of Trustees and Bumpers College Dean Mike Vayda.
Send Help. The “My Policies” feature will provide an overview of all active policies. “My Agent” will allow customers to contact their agent by phone or email. Policyholders can view their Farm Bureau membership card by selecting the “Membership” feature. Policyholders will be able to use the “ID Card” feature to view vehicle and boat insurance identification cards. The “Nearest Office” feature will allow policyholders to locate county offices nearby. The “Pay Bill” feature will allow payment of policy premiums and/or Farm Bureau membership dues. The app also will make it easy to report an automobile claim through the “Report Claim” feature. The “Send Help” feature is for the dispatch of roadside assistance. MOBILE agent will be available in the Google Play and iTunes app stores in early 2014 as a free download. Be on the lookout for more information coming soon to your local office.
In Arkansas Pharr elected to FCWA board Gene Pharr of Lincoln (Washington County) was recently elected to a fouryear term on the Farm Credit of Western Arkansas board of directors. Also a member of Arkansas Farm Bureau’s board of directors, Pharr was elected to the Farm Credit board along with Mark
Mansfield schools get USDA grant Mansfield School District in Scott County has received a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture grant that will allow the district to form partnerships with local farmers to increase procurement of locally sourced foods for its nutrition program. The district, which serves 880 students on three campuses, also will use the funding to help educate students and parents about farmto-table connections and the importance of consuming fresh foods. “In rural and urban communities across the country, Farm to School programs teach students where food comes from, while providing healthy foods that are grown locally on farms and ranches across the nation,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These programs also create new market opportunities for local farmers
Lyndon Youngblood, the 10 yearold son of Tyler and Mandy Davis of Ashdown, showed the market hog recognized as Grand Champion at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky. on Nov.21. The hog sold in the Sale of Champions for $14,500. JBS-USA was the primary buyer, with Arkansas Farm Bureau providing added premium.
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Wilcox of Faulkner County and Chuck Davis, Jr. of Little River County. The 12-member Farm Credit board also includes Troy Buck of Alpine (Clark County), another member of ArFB’s board of directors. As a borrower-owned cooperative, members are stockholders in the association. The board meets regularly to analyze and guide business decisions along with senior management, and its directors are farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners and agri-business people in western Arkansas.
On Dec. 12, the Arkansas Beef Council celebrated its 30th anniversary with a special luncheon served by the staff at the Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute in Little Rock. Current and previous council members posed for this photo during the event. and ranchers interested in partnering with nearby school districts, and by helping to create an even more diverse and thriving agriculture sector, Farm to School efforts hold potential to create new jobs in rural areas.” Farm to School projects that were funded throughout the U.S. this year will serve more than 13,000 schools and 2.8 million students, nearly 45 percent of who live in rural communities. Ag conference set for January The University of Arkansas is one of seven universities co-sponsoring a major agricultural production meeting in January. The 17th annual National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference, Southern Corn and Soybean Conference and Southern Precision Ag Conference will be held Jan. 15 and 16 at Harrah’sTunica Convention Center in Tunica, Miss. The conference will include presentations on cotton, rice, corn and soybean production systems by more than 100 speakers, including university researchers, farmers and crop consultants. Breakout sessions will provide farmers information on how to improve production methods. For additional information, visit www. mafg.net.
Elsewhere Ag exports set record in 2013 The Agriculture Department has released its final tally for agricultural exports
in fiscal year 2013, showing a new record of $140.9 billion. The period 2009-2013 stands as the strongest five-year period for agricultural exports in our nation’s history. Compared to the previous five-year period from 2004-2008, U.S. agricultural exports from 2009-2013 increased by a total of more than $230 billion, and the average volume of bulk commodities exported increased by nearly four million tons per year during that same period. Rice Month Scholarship winners The 2013 National Rice Month Scholarship grand prize was awarded to Jessica Whitaker of McGehee, on Dec. 5 at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in St. Louis. Whitaker took top honors and earned a $4,000 scholarship for her mass media promotion about the benefits of the rice industry. Whitaker’s news articles reached an estimated audience of 21,000 throughout southeast Arkansas. Second-place winner Callie Wilcox of Winnie, Texas will receive a $3,000 scholarship, and third-place winner Cade Bethea of Stuttgart, will receive a $1,500 award. To vie for a scholarship, eligible high school seniors in rice-growing counties in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas must conduct a promotion during September National Rice Month with U.S.-grown rice as the central theme. The scholarship is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences. Editor Keith Sutton
In the Market As of Dec. 18, 2013
Is this soybean rally sustainable? Soybean prices have seen a strong rally in recent weeks as exports continue to support this market. Export commitments already total more than 90 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture export forecast for 201314, and we’re just over two months into the marketing year, which began in October. These large commitments earlier in December led to the USDA increasing the 2013-14 export forecast and lowering stocks to 150 million bushels, which is just above last year’s 144 million bushels. This strong demand and tight stocks have caused the market to try rationing soybeans, pushing prices to test key resistance at $13.50, an increase of almost a dollar a bushel in just the last six weeks. The big question for the market now is, can soybeans sustain these gains? With a record South American soybean crop forecast for 2014, there is a lot of speculation as to how this will affect those U.S. commitments. With such large supplies, there is a strong likelihood that U.S. sales could be switched to South American origin. While this seems to be the talk of the market right now, one thing to remember is that South America is notorious for delivery difficulties at harvest. Whether this is caused by a strike or long lines at the port, there always seems to be something to delay delivery. Some type of delay will likely be needed to prevent at least a portion of U.S. sales from being transferred to South America. With the largest crop ever forecast
in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, soybeans could see major declines once this crop is realized. Stocks in the U.S. are historically tight, but stocks in many of these markets are not. As was said earlier, it is more of a delivery challenge than a supply issue in many of these markets. Another threat to soybean prices is the 2014 U.S. soybean crop. Some private forecasters are already forecasting the U.S. crop could see as much as a 7-million-acre increase in 2014. A 7-million-acre increase would likely make the November 2014 soybean price chart look like this year’s December corn chart. The current 2.5 to 1 ratio between soybeans and corn heavily favors the planting of more beans next year. Watch for these markets to begin to compete for acreage as we move toward the March planting intentions report. With corn prices continuing to hold near contract lows, and little fundamental support for higher prices, look for corn to drag soybean prices down more than soybeans pulling corn higher, especially if the South American crop holds. While corn has seen some support in good export demand, China’s rejection of some nine to 10 shipments continues to limit any significant gains. While corn prices will likely remain in the $4 to $4.50 range through the winter, the January USDA report is a big threat to corn prices as it could potentially hit the corn market from
both sides: increased production and lower demand. This report will give the market a final look at supplies (yield) and our first look at domestic demand (feed use). Many expect yield will be around 164 bushels per acre and that the first quarter stocks report will likely indicate domestic feed demand will be less than what is needed to reach the 5.2 billion bushels in the current forecast. If this scenario occurs, it is likely we could again see corn prices with a “3” in front of them for a short time as the stocks forecast will exceed 2 billion bushels. Stocks of more than 2 billion bushels tell the market there are plenty of corn reserves and there is a cushion to protect against another short crop. Producers who still have corn for this year should consider going ahead and pricing a part of that production, as we continue to see May and July contracts test lows. If this market sees stocks increase, that would be very bearish news for these prices, and we could see the spreads for this market erode further. The good news for producers now is that the poultry-feed market reportedly remains wide open, with very little booked for 2014. Producers who know they are going to grow corn in 2014 have the option now to deal more direct with those markets. As we move through the winter, these contracts will fill up and producers will be forced to go elsewhere to fill contracts for these markets.
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ANNUAL ARFB CONVENTION
rkansas Farm Bureau’s 79th Annual Convention took place Dec. 4-6 at the Marriott Hotel and Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. Despite severe winter weather, members from throughout the state showed up to attend educational conferences, hear from noted speakers and determine Farm Bureau position on issues important to agriculture and rural Arkansas. The conference theme was “Farm Bureau Strong.” photos by Keith Sutton and Chris Wilson
Central Arkansas band Night Music entertained the crowd with several songs during the opening session of the convention.
This group from Cross Co. FB, including Jenna Martin (center), Miss Arkansas Rice, was among those that braved bad road conditions and wintry weather to attend the convention. At top right, Dean Gammill with Stone Co. FB sang the national anthem during the opening session of the convention. At right, Arkansas political insider and cultural observer Rex Nelson spoke about the state’s changing political landscape.
Nineteen-year-old nuclear physicist Taylor Wilson, a sixth-generation Arkansan, kept members spellbound when describing his plans to help solve world energy problems, fight nuclear terrorism and treat cancer.
Stephen and Amanda Matthews of Clinton won the 2013 Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award. They raise cattle, stocker calves and exhibition pigs. Farm Bureau Press Insert — Vol. 16, No. 23
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe talked with ArFB leaders about the importance of electing candidates who will put the state’s interests ahead of politics.
Scott Gibson, president of Craighead Co. FB, accepted the President’s Award honoring the state’s top county Farm Bureau organization from ArFB President Randy Veach.
79 th ANNUAL ARFB CONVENTION
Randy Veach (left) of Manila and Rich Hillman (right) of Carlisle were re-elected to sixth terms as president and vice president, respectively, of Arkansas Farm Bureau.
Above, Scott and Cassie Davis of Prairie Grove won the 2013 Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award, making them the organization’s top young farm family. President Randy Veach presented the award to Cassie.
At left, a retirement reception was held to honor Ewell Welch (left) who retired from his role as ArFB’s executive vice president on Oct. 31. With Ewell were his wife Deanna, ArFB President Randy Veach and Thelma Veach. At bottom left, Glenda Samuels of Farmington was named Adult Sweepstakes Winner in the Sew with Cotton contest. Farm Bureau Press Insert — Vol. 16, No. 23