|Some of the board members at the meeting.|
It's a reception where each county has a booth and they promote the agriculture grown in their county. They also have samples of food to try. All thirteen counties have their booth and farmers and ranchers come in for the evening event because as a legislator shows up, a farmer or rancher then escort them around to the booths and talk about issues they are struggling with. It really helps to put a face to agriculture for all the legislators but especially those in the more urban areas.
|Yuma County Farm Bureau members and their booth.|
|Cochise County Farm Bureau |
members at their booth.
|Pinal County Farm Bureau ladies talking issues .|
Pinal County is a hit with their lamb burritos every year. The ladies cook the lamb and it comes out shredded and so good. They are then rolled into the burritos on site. They also receive a block of cheese to take home. Pinal has cotton, cattle, dairies and even a few sheep ranchers. The sheep ranches are famous for their sheep drives they take from north Phoenix to Flagstaff every spring. You can see the herd cross through Yavapai County in a few places.
Pima County has a lot of cattle but they also have several pecan farms along with cotton,pumpkins and other crops. This year they handed out bags of pecans to legislators. They also had pumpkin cookies in the dessert room for people to take. The Graham County booth is always a popular booth because they have chips and salsa. If you have ever purchased Euro Fresh tomatoes on the vine in the grocery store (anywhere in the US) the greenhouses are in Graham County! They are more known for their cotton but it's hard to eat cotton. They always bring most of their board members to talk about their agriculture, the technology they use and the issues they face.
|Pima County Farm Bureau member talking with other attendees.|
Navajo highlights the farming and ranching families up there. Most families are somehow related to the Flake family it seems. They give out samples of salami and pepperoni they purchase from the local Malapai Meats.
The counties that I talked about are the counties that I covered but we also had sliders provided by Mohave County that people loved. La Paz county handed out honey sticks and Coconino and Yavapai Counties had steaks for people to take home as well as samples of beef to snack on during the reception. Their booth always has the tools of the cowboy- saddle, hay, irons, ropes, etc. They don't however bring a horse.
|Graham County Farm Bureau members waiting for legislators!|
participate both in the booth and hosting legislators are young people (under 40). It shows the elected officials that agriculture isn't a dying industry. Because if it is then as a nation and world we would be dying as well. I think our members enjoy seeing their fellow farmers and ranchers as well and catching up with them from across the state. They may not see them until March or April or even November at our next big event and some members have built lifelong friendships with each other through Farm Bureau and the events and activities we do as a state. Because no matter the size, type of operation (ranching, dairy, cotton, vegetable) or if it's tradition, organic or natural, we all face the same issues and have many of the same concerns that make us stronger if we can share who we are and why we are important.
|Navajo County Farm Bureau member talking |
about agriculture in their county.