Nearly 200 guests filled the Modern Maturity Center Saturday, Dec. 9 as Delaware Farm Bureau members, sponsors and changemakers gathered to share a meal together.
The annual Celebration of Harvest Banquet serves as a celebration, as well as a reminder, of the work that is done by members year round on their own farms and through advocacy work to improve the industry.
“This is a great time for us to gather and celebrate our shared accomplishments and even meet new friends as we head into the new year,” DEFB President Bill Powers said in a letter to attendees.
Led by Powers and Master of Ceremonies Mark Isaacs, the evening event featured a hearty meal catered by the Modern Maturity Center, music by Captain Mike, live and silent auctions supporting the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and DEFB Foundation, and many awards honoring the dedication of DEFB members and supporters.
American Farm Bureau Federation’s Vice President of Public Policy Sam Kieffer gave the keynote address to attendees and highlighted the importance of advocacy work by Farm Bureau members all over the country.
He spoke of the national Farm Bill which expired in September, but was eventually renewed for another year to allow Congress more time to discuss a new bill in light of changes that have happened to the economy since the pandemic.
“I’m going to talk a lot about bipartisanship tonight because that’s what we need to get across the party line,” he said. “In order to get anything done in the debate, the house can’t govern alone. To get anything done in the debate, it’s got to be bipartisan. Your American Farm Bureau is working hard to get a resolution for the Farm Bill because the longer we go, the harder it will be once [presidential] candidates are chosen.”
He added that the Farm Bureau is a great example of bipartisanship at work as members get together to discuss and vote on important issues each year, just as members of Congress do in Washington, D.C.
“I think how Farm Bureau operates is a great model to follow. It’s our job to convince the majority of our peers and at the end of the day, majority rules. In the spirit of our organization, even if we disagree, we continue to row in the same direction until the next year when we try to change it again,” he said.
Emphasizing the importance of not just advocacy at the state and national levels, but between neighbors, as well, Kieffer said that sharing stories is what helps the Farm Bureau continue to thrive.
“I cannot tell your story. Don Clifton [DEFB executive director] cannot tell your story the way you can. I ask you to keep showing up when you can. It is important. It matters. And what also matters is visiting with your friends and neighbors and telling them what is all about,” he said. “Our team in Washington is relevant because of you and because of your counterparts. . . Tell your story and bring others with you.”
For more information on the Delaware Farm Bureau or to find out how you can get involved, visit www.defb.org.