The beginning of Farm
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:
|Use of Natural Resources|
|Services to the farm community|
|Food Safety and Quality|
|and 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.