As the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention came to a conclusion on Tuesday, members made two important decisions: to give Duvall another two-year term and to increase dues in an attempt to tackle the organization’s budget deficit.
According to Duvall, the $1.5 million deficit was created with the recent loss of programs that were generating revenue.
“In the past we've had some income generators through our member benefit programs that were nationwide programs and we lost the opportunity to participate in [those] in the future,” Duvall says.
The two programs he was referring to are vehicle and machinery discount programs that were recently discontinued. In addition, a few states had insurance discounts that also contributed to the spending gap, Duvall says. To combat the budget issue, AFBF members voted in favor of increasing their dues by $1 per year. How individual states handle the dues increase is up to them, Duvall says.
“Each state has different situation,” he says. “Their bylaws will dictate to them how they do it. I would think it'd be arranged between them absorbing it in their budgets to passing it on.”
The membership voted for Duvall to lead the organization for a second two-year term in addition to approving policy language related to a variety of topics ranging from a robust farm safety net program to CRISPR gene-editing technology.