Recent Iowa Congressional candidate Austin Frewick is a brave man. He blows the whistle on the Iowa Farm Bureau in this interesting, concise and eye-opening piece. Upsetting the apple cart may be hazardous to one’s health when there are billions of blood dollars at stake.
Farm Bureau loves to fib and represent itself to gullible listeners – like members of Congress – as the ‘voice of American family farmers.’ NOTHING could be further from the truth. Their close working relationships with the likes of Monsanto clearly announce their real self-serving agenda.
Clearly, Iowa Farm Bureau’s “non-profit” status is a big whopper of gigantic proportions and sure needs fixing. Jim
“Although the Iowa Farm Bureau was created to advocate for Iowa’s farmers and rural communities, it now receives 84% of its revenue from its for-profit insurance arm, the FBL Financial Group, which controlled $10.1 billion in assets in 2017 alone. Its holdings include millions of dollars of investments in large agribusiness conglomerates like Monsanto and Tyson. As a result, the Iowa Farm Bureau has an operating budget of $89 million, more than twice that of its national counterpart: the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“Those revenue sources have given the Iowa Farm Bureau significant power both in Iowa and in the national agricultural space. In the 1970s, the Iowa Farm Bureau’s lobbying efforts, in conjunction with Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz, led to significant changes to the New Deal agricultural policies that sought to manage supply and protect farmers from the big agribusiness companies. The Iowa Farm Bureau successfully fought to replace this system with one that forced farmers to get big or get out, and pushed them to plant crops fencerow to fencerow. Its mantra was simple: volume, volume and more volume…
“It’s time to recognize what many farmers already know: The Iowa Farm Bureau is a suburban insurance company pretending to be the voice of farmers.”