Farm Bureau celebrates 50 years of membership growth

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WASHINGTON — The American Farm Bureau’s national membership rose to 6,279,813 member families in 2010, marking 50 consecutive years of membership growth.

State farm bureaus reported a total 2,149 more member families this year than in 2009.

American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman credited strong agricultural advocacy programs at the local, state and national levels and the growing portfolio of services offered by state Farm Bureaus for the organization’s 50th straight year of membership growth.

The largest

Kentucky Farm Bureau had the single largest gain of 16,964 members, bringing its membership to 500,316. Other state organizations with significant growth included Texas, which grew by 15,414 members to 454,674; North Carolina, which grew by 11,637 members to 520,063; Tennessee, which gained 8,887 members to reach 655,127; and Illinois which grew by 4,124 members to 426,043.

Tennessee Farm Bureau is the nation’s largest. Ohio Farm Bureau membership stands at 214,331. Delaware Farm Bureau had the single largest percentage membership gain, growing 19.9 percent to 5,396 member families.

Rounding out the top five by percentage of growth were Montana (9.3 percent), Utah (9.1 percent), West Virginia (8.7 percent; 23,073 members) and Pennsylvania (7.7 percent; final membership, 50,284).

The Northeast region had the largest percentage of growth at 4 percent.

Nineteen state Farm Bureaus earned Navigator Awards for meeting or exceeding membership growth goals: Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and West Virginia.

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