This week Indiana Farm Bureau president Don Villwock was honored and those who paid tribute to him spoke of the wise counsel he has provided through the years. Now the retiring state president is running for the top position at American Farm Bureau, and Villwock told HAT he is the one seeking counsel from Hoosier ag leaders and commodity groups.
“I really see the opportunity for all the ag organizations to work together,” he said. “Ninety-five percent of the time our policies are almost identical. We need to find some synergies of working together. Our resources are limited so it only makes sense to find ways to collaborate and go to the hill and lobby together. We don’t necessarily need to be the champion as an individual organization; we really need for farmers and ranchers to be the victors and the ones that are represented. So they have been great allies to help me identify some of those issues as we move forward.”
With about 80 days left before the January 12th election, Villwock says there are a couple of very busy months directly ahead.
“I have multiple states that I have to fly to over the next two months to go visit with their delegates and officers and directors, and so we’re trying to do as many of those as we can, and really not to tell my story but to listen to what their concerns are. I think it’s really, for any leader, more important to be a good listener instead of just advocating for something you might believe in”
He also continues to work hard for Indiana farmers in a year of lower crop prices.
“We’re going to be running the whole way, working hard for our members and trying to improve net farm income when commodity prices are pressured. So the wick’s been turned up and we’re going to have to work hard for our folks to help them along the way.”