The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is partnering with the National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) to increase diversity in agriculture, per a memorandum of understanding signed Oct. 11.
The partnership is expected to strengthen membership value for both organizations and their state and local affiliates. Collaboration includes written content for publications, providing leadership training and expertise, and cross-promoting programs and events.
“We are excited to join with MANRRS and share Farm Bureau’s resources and programs with potential new farmers and the next generation of leaders in agriculture,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Farmers and ranchers represent less than 2% of America’s population but are responsible for feeding the entire country and beyond. We will need the brightest minds and new perspectives to continue meeting the growing demand for healthy, affordable food. We believe the partnership…will benefit both our organizations and all of agriculture.”
Dr. Olga Bolden-Tiller is president of the National Society of MANRRS and heads the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Tuskegee University just 45 minutes from the Alabama Farmers Federation home office in Montgomery. Tuskegee University MANRRS students and faculty recently visited the Federation to brainstorm local collaborations, a promising sign of the partnership’s productivity. The Federation is slated to host the Alabama Jr. MANRRS Leadership Institute Dec. 8, 2021.
The agreement with MANRRS continues AFBF’s goal to expand coalitions and partnerships to increase the effectiveness of its grassroots organization. Alabama has similar goals.
“This partnership with MANRRS is just one example of how our organization is investing in the leaders of tomorrow,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “Whether through 4-H, FFA or MANRRS, we are committed to strengthening future leaders who will continually position agriculture for success in Alabama and beyond.”
Bolden-Tiller echoed Parnell’s sentiments.
“The new partnership between MANRRS and the American Farm Bureau Federation will ensure that all of the voices of the agricultural community are heard as we work together to develop a well-trained workforce that not only identifies agricultural issues but addresses these challenges today and tomorrow, domestically and globally,” she said.