AFBF MEMBERSHIP EXCEEDS 6.2 MILLION -- ALL-TIME HIGH
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Farm Bureau membership across the country has surpassed the 6 million mark for the second consecutive year -- 6,231,176 member families. The milestone was passed as state Farm Bureaus reported 30,838 additional members registered for Farm Bureau membership in 2007.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said Farm Bureau's growth was fueled by recognition of the organization's strong record as an advocate of policy positions developed by its members at the local, state and national levels. The strength of Farm Bureau's many outstanding programs and services designed to boost members' families, businesses and standards of living is another key reason for continued growth.
"Last year Farm Bureau achieved a terrific milestone in its history by registering more than 6 million members for the first time, and this year we achieved even more by sustaining and building on that growth," Stallman said. "Prolonged dry weather and other challenging conditions made this a tough year for many of America's farm and ranch families, but our membership strength will bolster Farm Bureau as we work with our members and for our members to surface new ideas and solutions in the year ahead."
The membership gain of nearly 31,000 member families is due primarily to the growth of several state Farm Bureaus in the South.
The Tennessee Farm Bureau continues to claim the title of the country's largest state Farm Bureau, with 629,027 member families. Joining Tennessee in the 2007 "Top 10" Farm Bureau membership states are: North Carolina, 492,755; Kentucky, 462,494; Georgia, 437,734; Alabama, 433,700; Illinois, 419,934; Texas, 404,735; Indiana, 283,483; Ohio, 230,968; and Mississippi, 227,741.
Following the "Top 10" states in total membership for 2007 were nine other states with more than 100,000 members, including: Arkansas, 227,383; Michigan, 199,053; Oklahoma, 167,888; Iowa, 153,685; Louisiana, 147,860; Virginia, 146,934; Florida, 143,591; South Carolina, 130,569; and Kansas, 110,069.
Kentucky Farm Bureau, the third-largest state Farm Bureau, achieved the largest gain in members in 2007 -- 9,371 member families. Tennessee's membership increase of 9,076 is the second-largest growth. Texas Farm Bureau posted the third-largest gain -- 8,881 member families. Georgia's registering of 8,024 new member families is the fourth-largest gain, and North Carolina posted the fifth-largest gain with 5,141 new member families.
Following the top five states in membership gains are West Virginia with 2,540 new members, Alabama and Illinois with 2,316 new members each, and Pennsylvania with 2,189 new members.
The state with the largest percentage gain in membership is West Virginia with a 16.63 percent gain. Second is Delaware with an 11.58 percent gain, and third is Nevada with a 9.07 percent gain.
A total of 30 states achieved membership quota increases during 2007.
"Across the board, Farm Bureau members need to be proud of the unified voice for agriculture they have formed across the country and in Puerto Rico," Stallman said.