Saturday afternoon American Farm Bureau members heard the 4 candidates vying for president of the organization during a forum at the convention center in Orlando. The election is Tuesday afternoon and could result in the very first Hoosier serving as president of AFBF. Don Villwock has been campaigning hard, and like the candidates running for U.S. president, members are interested in his resume.
“They’re interested in things you’ve been involved with, what’s your Farm Bureau history, and what’s your vision,” he told HAT. “I really think those other things are important but they really want to know what your vision is, where you think the organization should be headed and how we’re going to get there.”
And what would be the #1 issue of concern for those members?
“If it’s a legislative issue it’s got to be WOTUS (Waters of the US.) Wherever I traveled in the country there is a lot of concern about the regulatory overreach. This largest land grab in the history of the United States has farmers and ranchers wherever they are in this country very, very concerned.”
The self-proclaimed policy wonk has talked policy for months now on the trail, and Villwock has enjoyed the process.
“It’s actually reenergized my faith in Farm Bureau as I’ve traveled the country and visited with folks. There is a lot of passion for agriculture and for Farm Bureau. This organization has a bright future ahead of it if we can just convert that passion into action.”
During the demanding process Villwock has benefited from the support of family.
“My wife Joyce has always been a great supporter,” he said. “She didn’t bat an eye when I decided we ought to try and run for this position. My two daughters and their families are very, very supportive as well, and then my farm manager Jason back at home keeps the farm running.”
HAT will have continuing coverage of Villwock and Indiana Farm Bureau at this year’s convention.