Bob Stallman, president, American Farm Bureau Federation.
Bob Stallman, president, American Farm Bureau Federation.

The American Farm Bureau Federation announced that President Bob Stallman will not seek reelection in January 2016 following 16 years at the helm of the nation’s largest general farm organization. Stallman, a cattle and rice producer from Columbus, Texas, is the eleventh president during AFBF’s almost 97-year history.

This might not seem important to most of our audience of agricultural retailers, crop consultants and professional farm managers, but Stallman has lead an organization, as the press release claims, is “the most influential general farm organization in the nation.” And I believe it after having worked for AFBF for a short time during Stallman’s presidency.

Our AgProfessional audiences don’t always agree with what AFBF prefers but in most cases, during Stallman’s presidency, there has been much more agreement than disagreement. I’ve seen and heard about Stallman’s negotiating power and his leadership effectiveness, and add to that being an impressive speaker.  

At age 63, Stallman has a long history with Farm Bureau. He recounted, “After 16 years as AFBF president, six as Texas Farm Bureau president and several more in other Farm Bureau roles, it is time to hand over the reins of leadership—a decision that is made easier by knowing the great leadership and foundation that exist to continue moving Farm Bureau forward. I am as optimistic as ever about the future of American agriculture and Farm Bureau.

“On the wall of the AFBF office is a quote by President Thomas Jefferson: ‘Agriculture is our wisest pursuit because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.’ I couldn’t agree more, and I would add that a most rewarding pursuit is working for the men and women who make up American agriculture. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to do so.”

Showing the influence of Stallman and AFBF, in addition to his Farm Bureau roles, Stallman has served on numerous boards and federal and state committees, including the White House Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, the Farm Foundation board of trustees, the board and founding leadership of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, the board of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology and the House Agriculture Committee’s Commission on 21st Century Production Agriculture.

A new AFBF president will be elected to a two-year term at the 97th annual meeting of voting delegates, Jan. 12, 2016, as part of the AFBF Annual Convention and IDEAg Tradeshow in Orlando, Fla.