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Faces and Places: AFBF

Slideshow: Check out the photographic highlights of the American Farm Bureau Federation convention, held in Puerto Rico.

Holly Spangler

January 18, 2023

17 Slides
farmers visiting Don Manuel in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico during the AFBF convention

Photos by Holly Spangler

The American Farm Bureau Federation held its 104th annual convention in early January, in sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nearly 5,000 Farm Bureau members flocked to the island to soak up the sun, learn about Puerto Rican agriculture and vote on policy.

Among the changes the more than 330 delegates ratified during the resolution session were amendments intended to expand risk management programs and improve dairy pricing, and in a move that surprised no one, they formally opposed the Waters of the U.S. rule introduced by the Biden administration in late 2022.

They also added language supporting a farm bill that will include expanded baseline funding, more flexible disaster relief programs and protection for additional specialty crops. They added new policy to support expanded access to nutrition programs that would connect farms directly with food banks, which would make produce available in food-scarce areas.

Read more on delegate decisions: Farm Bureau lays out priorities.

Click through the slideshow for a look at award winners, Puerto Rican farms and more.

About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than two decades, bringing meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at six magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt. She began her career with Prairie Farmer just before graduating from the University of Illinois in agricultural communications.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and is a five-time winner of the top writing award for editorial opinion in U.S. agriculture. She was named an AAEA Master Writer in 2005. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.

Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle on 2,500 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents and their three children.

Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with their local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district, and are active in their church's youth and music ministries.

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