Randy Veach took the podium at Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 85th annual convention today to give his final address to members as the organization’s president. Veach, a third-generation farmer from Manila, is completing his 11th term as Arkansas Farm Bureau president, and has served on the board for 20 years.
Veach announced earlier this year that he would not be seeking re-election. A new president will be elected by voting delegates during a business session on Friday.
“It is my hope that you strengthen your commitment to Farm Bureau,” Veach told the audience, addressing the importance of Arkansas Farm Bureau as an advocate for agriculture in the state and the importance of continuing to build the organization’s grassroots base.
“We need to help make this organization as relevant tomorrow as it has been since its founding in 1935. We’ve got to keep it going. We’ve got to keep it strong,” Veach said. “And we do that by what? By working together.”
Veach highlighted the concern farmers and ranchers have for the environment and the strides that have been made in farming methods and technology. He also expressed his belief that communicating about agriculture with the general public will be critical in the years to come.
“We do have to keep up with the ever-changing world around us today. If we don’t, we’ll be left behind,” he said. “We do have to keep up with the way that we communicate with our members and the non-farming public – those people who buy and consume what we raise and grow.”
After offering his thoughts on the important issues facing agriculture and offering words of encouragement for the future, Veach thanked his wife, Thelma, the Arkansas Farm Bureau board, staff and members.
“Thank you, Farm Bureau members, for your unbroken trust, for your willingness to stand with us, and for your support for Arkansas’ largest industry, agriculture,” Veach said. “To serve as president of Arkansas Farm Bureau has been an honor and a privilege. It has meant more to me, to Thelma and to my family than you will ever know.”