American Farm Bureau Federation

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The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and commonly referred to as the Farm Bureau is a lobbying organization in the United States representing farmers and ranchers.


The Farm Bureau movement officially started in 1911 when John Barron, a farmer who graduated from Cornell University and worked as an extension agent in Broome County, New York. He served as a "farm bureau" representative for farmers with the Binghamton, New York Chamber of Commerce. The effort was financed by the United States Department of Agriculture and Lackawanna Railroad. The Broome County Farm Bureau soon separated from the Chamber of Commerce.

Other bureaus on a county level formed across the country.

Farmers meeting in Saline County, Missouri were the first to form a state-wide bureau in 1915.

The initial farm bureaus had a social and educational function furthering the extension service efforts but they developed into a lobbying organization.

The American Farm Bureau was formally created in 1919 in Chicago, Illinois. Its initial organization papers said:

The purpose of Farm Bureau is to make the business of farming more profitable, and the community a better place to live. Farm Bureau should provide an organization in which members may secure the benefits of unified efforts in a way which could never be accomplished through individual effort. – Statement originally approved by Farm Bureau members in 1920.[1]

The American Farm Bureau Federation relocated its headquarters from Park Ridge, Illinois to Washington, D.C. in 2003.[2]



See also