‘We are the one percent,’ AFBF president tells 2012 convention
“We are the 1 percent that is producing food and fiber for the other 99 percent,” American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman declared in his annual address Jan. 9 to the approximately 7,000 members gathered for AFBF’s 93rd Annual Meeting.
Farm and ranch families are growing more food with fewer resources than ever before, Stallman said.
“Over a 20-year period, corn yields are up 41 percent. Per bushel soil loss has fallen by 70 percent. Water use per bushel of corn is down 27 percent. All major crops show similar trends,” said Stallman.
He also praised the record-breaking growth in U.S. agricultural exports over the past year.
“We sold $42.5 billion more in agricultural products than we imported in 2011,” he added. “That number will stay strong into this year and, I am convinced, into the foreseeable future.”
American agriculture’s successes have come in the face of challenges, Stallman said, including droughts, doubts about the future of agricultural policy, floods, a deluge of government regulatory actions, storms, and an often tempestuous public conversation about the farmer’s role in feeding our nation.