The beginning of Farm Bureau.

The "bureau" in Farm Bureau is used because the first Farm Bureau was formed as a "bureau" of the chamber of commerce in Broome County, N.Y.

On March 1, 1911, the first county agricultural agent was employed in Binghamton, New York and it was there that the first Farm Bureau in the United States was born. Months earlier, a farmer by the name of James Quinn began what is commonly known as "Kitchen Konferences", whereby local farmers met at Quinn's house and talked about farming issues and concerns. Many concerns about the health of the farming community had been expressed by the local Chamber of Commerce and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. To help the agricultural community succeed and flourish, John Barron was hired as county agent and established an office in Binghamton's Chamber of Commerce on March 20, 1911 (the first day of spring).

Mr. Barron's district, at first, covered the country within a 50 mile radius of Binghamton and included the counties of Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware and Tioga in New York State.

In 1918, 55 agricultural counties had Farm Bureaus and their total membership rested near 45,000 members.

New York soon developed a statewide central body designed to represent the members in matters of mutual concern. Soon thereafter, a movement began to establish a national federation of Farm Bureaus.

The American Farm Bureau Federation was formed when farmer delegates from 30 states gathered at Chicago's LaSaille Hotel on Nov. 12, 1919.

Today there are more than 2,800 county Farm Bureaus in the United States.

Thousands of volunteer leaders serve on county Farm Bureau boards and committees. From social outings and educational workshops to political action and community forums, Farm Bureau offers programs and services for the entire family.

County Farm Bureau's set policies and select voting delegates to voice their beliefs at state Farm Bureau annual meetings. These delegates determine which policies submitted by the county Farm Bureaus, and in some cases by commodity committees, will provide the direction for the state Farm Bureau. Farmers and ranchers serve as officers and directors of state Farm Bureaus and work, with the help of paid staff, to carry out the policies of the organization. These policies deal with many issues, which include:

bulletUse of Natural Resources
bulletProperty Rights
bulletServices to the farm community
bulletFood Safety and Quality
bulletand a host of other topics that affect rural America.

Learn more about "Your Natural Resource", by visiting the New York Farm Bureau Home Page.
Or visit the "Voice of Agriculture", American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) Home Page.

Chenango County Farm Bureau Home Page.