2009-07-09 / Local & State

Farm Bureau Sets New Membership Record

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) has achieved a new membership record with total membership topping the 46,000 plateau for the first time in the 59-year history of the state's largest farm organization. PFB increased its overall membership by 2,395 members (or 5.4 percent) since July 1, 2008, with total membership reaching 46,697.

"With so many critical issues impacting agriculture and the food supply, farmers believe it's more important than ever to be involved in Farm Bureau. Not only do our members set the policies by which Farm Bureau operates, they also work directly with decision-makers to advance our industry and strive to better inform consumers about where their food comes from, farming practices and food safety issues," said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer.

PFB's successful recruiting efforts are spearheaded by farmers who tell other farmers about the many benefits of joining the grass-roots organization. "Our farmers know that the challenges they face continue to mount and that in order to accomplish their goals they must consolidate efforts to bring a unified voice to lawmakers in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C.," added Shaffer.

Farm Bureau addressed numerous key issues identified by its members over the past year. Some of those accomplishments include: won passage of new Farm Bill with more benefits for Pennsylvania farmers; successfully fought a proposal to place tolls on Interstate 80 that would have significantly increased costs for farmers and agribusinesses across the commonwealth; helped restore Pennsylvania's fledgling biodiesel industry with an incentive program that also creates additional markets for Pennsylvania-produced soybeans; and launched a carbon credit trading program with new farm income opportunities and environmental benefits.

Aside from the many recent accomplishments, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau aggressively represents agriculture as a member of nearly 30 government advisory boards and industry groups. "Whether the issues involve food safety, agricultural practices or survival of the family farm, our members count on us to represent their interests and concerns," concluded Shaffer.

PA Farm Bureau is the state's largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of 47,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.

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