Idaho Farm Bureau House of Delegates, Jake Putnam photo
AMERICAN FARM BUREAU MEMBERSHIP ON THE RISE
WASHINGTON–Farm Bureau’s national membership rose to 6,243,286 member families in 2008, marking 48 consecutive years of membership growth. State Farm Bureaus overall reported a total 9,689 more member families this year than in 2007.
American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said this year’s membership growth is especially remarkable given the economic challenges facing the nation. He credited strong programs of advocacy and services offered by state Farm Bureaus for the organization’s national membership growth.
“Dedicated Farm Bureau members and their elected leaders at the county and state levels are the force behind our membership growth,” Stallman said. “Farm Bureau is a true, grassroots organization and this membership accomplishment sets a positive tone as AFBF heads into its 90th anniversary year. We’ve certainly come a long way from early 1919 when farmers from 12 states met with the goal of forming a national organization to represent all of American agriculture.”
Texas Farm Bureau had the single largest gain of 17,424 members, bringing its membership to 422,159. Other states organizations with significant growth included Kentucky, which grew by 8,440 members to 470,934; Tennessee, which grew by 7,051 members to 636,078; Alabama, which gained 6,765 members to 440,465; and North Carolina, which grew by 6,079 members to 498,834.
Tennessee Farm Bureau remains the largest in the nation. Delaware Farm Bureau had the single largest percentage membership gain, growing 29.5 percent to 4,344 member families. Rounding out the top five by percentage of growth were Massachusetts (6.7 percent), West Virginia (6.7 percent), Maryland (6.5 percent) and Utah (5 percent). The Northeast had the largest percentage of growth, 2.5 percent.
Fourteen state Farm Bureaus have earned Navigator Awards for exceptional membership growth: Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and West Virginia.
Thirty-four state Farm Bureaus achieved 2008 membership quota: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.